I live in Missouri and the cops racial profile illegally all the time. Would it be a good idea to form a Criminal Justice Coalition? Lost in Missouri
Dear Lost in Missouri:
An organization is made up of a group of individuals. An organization is only as good as its people. Organizations can come together to form strong coalitions.
Criminal Justice Coalitions are extremely necessary and they can merge with others for a common cause. In order to monitor the practices of police, we need to set up Criminal Justice Coalitions.
One of the most basic principles of community policing is that the community takes responsibility for working with law enforcement to reduce crime.
If the community believes that law enforcement is unfairly targeting certain people, then there will be little communication between the two groups.
This breakdown of communication results in an “us against them” atmosphere, and there can be little hope that law enforcement can be effective in their crime prevention and reduction efforts.
Law enforcement should take the time to explain to the public what they are doing and why. Their strategy could include written materials that can be distributed to citizens who are stopped; meetings with community members to discuss how agencies intend to stop crime; and distribution of information through the media.
One of the first committees that need to be set up in the Criminal Justice Coalition is the security committee to monitor who is actually attending meetings.
Of course the group will eventually be infiltrated by those who will seek to break up the group. Other groups or committees could include recruitment, fundraising, media, issues, research, etc.
If family members of victims are going to work with coalitions, never meet with those accused of harming you or your loved ones without legal representation or members of the coalition.
Never go into a meeting, talk on the phone or answer an email, without these persons who will make sure you receive justice.
Stay in constant contact with them and provide factual details about what happened to you or your family members.