In light of the George Floyd verdict, this national case reinforces the struggle to save Black lives.
This historic event has highlighted and opened eyes that Black Americans are not treated equally across the system.
Accountability must be held by our local state and national government to bring about the reforms that are long overdue.
It is time to go beyond half-measures. America needs police reform NOW!
This means reallocating police budgets and redirecting funds to hire police specialists trained in mental health, crisis intervention, and de-escalation.
With trained police specialists, we are investing into the care and services of our communities to create an overall positive impact. Their specialized training will evaluate and utilize specific precautionary measures to appropriately and humanely manage custody when needed. This type of care and strategy is of utmost importance to help prevent tragic outcomes, save lives… and overall, create a safe environment.
Frequent evaluations of the emotional and mental state of active officers are necessary; especially with the high stress situations officers are confronted with daily.
Despite having many dedicated officers, who are true to their oath to protect and serve, there are some who abuse this power. Law enforcement officials who choose to react defensively show their cavalier and inhumane attitudes when facing criticism.
Black people are killed by police in unprecedented numbers compared to Whites. Black and Brown communities across the nation are terrorized, brutalized, criminalized, and over-policed by law enforcement.
George Floyd was murdered in broad daylight before witnesses and it took millions of dollars, eleven months, protests around the globe, and an extreme emotional toll on Black America to prove what was witnessed and captured on camera.
This is the true measure of the contemptuous culture that has been protected and allowed to perpetuate and be imposed on Black people for generations therefore robbing us of our fundamental rights.
This must come to an end.
We must continue to fight for progressive changes to keep our communities safe.
YWCA Tri-County Area Board President