A Call for Police Reform

Every time you turn around, it seems like another Black American has died at the hands of police.

Eric Garner. Tamir Rice. Freddie Gray. Renisha McBride.

Fed up with the effects of police brutality, African American executives and leaders are calling for national reforms to combat police misconduct.

The Legal Defense Fund, joined by the Executive Leadership Council (ELC), is demanding that America’s government enact nationwide police reforms.

The leaders are pushing for federal legislation that leads to an increase in Department of Justice (DOJ) oversight of funding for police department training.

Their method of reform also includes “strengthening the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division’s ability to identify and investigate patterns of discrimination and misconduct that can potentially surface at departments throughout the nation,” according to a press release sent to JET.

“The African-American business community cannot remain silent while members of our own communities and individuals who are our brothers, our sons and our grandsons are killed,” said a statement from the ELC.

The ELC believes the following measures will help combat police misconduct across the country:

• Greater oversight by the DOJ over the utilization of its law enforcement grant programs, to determine how such programs can be used to provide and support increased training for police officers in key areas.
• Increased funding and resources for the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, to help strengthen its efforts to conduct thorough reviews of any police department believed to be engaged in a pattern and practice of discrimination.

“The life-threatening reality of racial bias in policing threatens to undermine public confidence in our criminal justice system and in the rule of law itself – a bedrock principle of our democracy,” said ELC President and CEO Ron Parker. “We rely on principles of fairness and equity in all American institutions, both public and private. As we’ve seen in Tulsa, North Charleston, and most recently Baltimore, these principles are not being upheld in our law enforcement institutions to the detriment of the African- American community and American society as a whole.”