Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Petition for better police training

I recently become aware of a campaign that various civil society actors are leading in an effort to reduce murders of black civilians at the hands of law enforcement.  It urges the Department of Justice to expand and require training for police in deescalation (meaning getting even armed guys to drop their weapon and calm down, instead of cops' impulsively shooting suspects, armed or not) and implicit bias (that little subconscious thing we all have that impulsively makes us think black men are threatening and somehow deserving of a bullet).  Here's what I wrote the DOJ.  You can do the same using their contact form.

Dear Attorney General Lynch,
I am writing as a member of the citizenry who is tired of empty talk about curing racism in our justice system without concrete action.  I am requesting for universal training for existing and new police officers on the topics of implicit bias and deescalation.  I believe that if more officers were skilled at deescalation, and more of them aware of their implicit bias that leads them to practice deescalation with white suspects while shooting first at black suspects, then we would have fewer tragic deaths of civilians, both white and black.  At the very least, such training in deescalation and implicit bias should be a condition for receipt of any aid from the federal government, be that aid in the form of equipment, training, or funds.
I join the NAACP, the Root news site, and Bounce TV in this campaign calling for tying of federal funding for law enforcement to police training in deescalation and implicit bias.
Thank you very much.

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