Wednesday, April 29, 2015

What Actions Should Black Communities Take to Hold the Police Accountable?

Mar. 29, 2015

Dear Cathy:

How should the black community prepare to deal with racial profiling and police brutality especially after what happened in Ferguson, MO, Staten Island, NY, North Charleston, SC, Baltimore, MD and other cities across this country?  Young Activist - Deep in the Movement, Baltimore, MD

Dear Young Activist - Deep in the Movement:

What happened in Ferguson, MO with the killing of Michael Brown by the police, Staten Island, NY with the killing of Eric Gardner by the police, North Charleston, SC with the killing of Walter Scott by the police, Baltimore, MD with the killing of Freddie Gray and many other wrongful killings of black boys and men by the police is forever etched in history books.  However, all the protesting in the world won't bring about the changes that the black community really need at this time.  

The incidents, however, were a wake up call for many in this country and it showed many Americans and others just what the police is capable of.  There are several things that most black communities and others need to put into place as soon as possible:

1.    Since everything we do in the community must be legal, everyone should make a list of on-call activist attorneys in their cities that they can call to report cases of racial profiling and police brutality to.  These attorneys should not only be prepared to represent their clients but also set up workshops to teach the community of their rights when dealing with the police and help their clients and others obtain video cameras and other recorders to record the police.

2.    Activist attorneys should find a way to build a database where statistics can be collected to report to legislators because legislators are in charge of creating laws.

3.    These on-call activist attorneys should build relationships with media entities so they can assist in telling the stories of police abuse.  These can be mom and pop community newspapers where everyone should subscribe to these newspapers, send donations and volunteer to work with them.  It's imperative that these media outlets have an online presence.  Try not to ignore the media impact of public TV, internet radio, bloggers, freelancers and social media outlets (,,,,,,, etc.). 

4.    Activist attorneys should also work with civil rights groups.  Even though many people are discouraged because of the actions of many civil rights groups today, most acts of racial profiling or police brutality are reported to the National Association of the Advancement of Colored People (, American Civil Liberties Union (, Amnesty International (, National Action Network (, etc., however, local and national activists and advocacy groups can be formed to take on these challenges.  So don't wait for these groups to take on these abusive police departments.

Don't forget that African Americans are not only dealing with "Driving While Black" but they are also dealing with "Flying While Black, Shopping While Black, Walking While Black and Breathing While Black" -- so the top 4 steps is a good start in the right direction to hold others accountable for their actions.

To learn more about how to deal with the police read my book "Police Interactions 101: How To Interact With the Police in Your Car, On the Streets, In Your Home" which is available as an e-book, paperback and audiobook.

No comments:

Post a Comment