Approximately two weeks after former Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of killing George Floyd, investigative journalist Katie Laglone said police to four of Florida’s top black police officers. I asked how to regain trust.
They are four of Florida’s top police officers, two city police chiefs, and two county sheriffs. They all ranked at the top in professions that historically did not welcome them.
“Are you black enough or blue enough?” This was something that an administrator like me had to manage, but our counterpart, the white man, is of this kind. Don’t worry about your considerations. ”Last year, people were reelected.
In a county plagued by a long history of racist police illicit activity, Tony was the first African-American sheriff and one of only four black sheriffs in Florida.
It’s been about two weeks since former Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder at the death of George Floyd. The conviction of a white police officer for killing a black man who was handcuffed is a historic moment and is widely said to take into account police violence and systematic racism within law enforcement agencies. It is explained.
We invited Florida Sheriff Tony and three other key black police officers to share their thoughts on how law enforcement can regain public trust.
“You tackle this problem and don’t see it as just a problem for blacks,” Sheriff Tony said.
“We really need to make sure we are hiring the best police officers we can,” said Sheriff Walter McNeill.
He heads Leon County, home of the State Capitol, and members of this session will strengthen officer training and independent surveillance while strangling and limiting the ability of police officers to wander from agency to agency. Passed a new police reform aimed at.
Last year, a Yale University survey found that more than 1,000 dismissed Florida police officers eventually returned to the streets with other departments. 800 of them were dismissed for problems related to illegal activities.
McNeil believes it’s time for police agencies to issue regular scorecards for internal cases involving police officers, such as dismissals and disciplinary actions.
“How many police officers have you fired this year?” No one has asked me that. “How many people did you train this year?” No one asked me that, “What do you train them for?” We think positively and give that information We have to provide it to the community ourselves, “says McNeill.
Delray Beach Police Chief Javalosims believes that accountability is the key to regaining public trust.
“We need to make sure that we are responsible for and adhere to the policies we have created. I think we couldn’t do that in a big way,” Sims said. Told.
Sims is one of the five black police chiefs in Palm Beach County, and it’s worth noting that about 30 of Florida’s 280 police chiefs are black.
Also on the Riviera Beach in Palm Beach County, Chief Nathan Osgood leads one of the state’s predominantly black cities and one of the few police stations where the majority of police officers sworn in Florida are also black.
“Our police officers come from this community and are either involved in the community or attend high school in this community. I’m talking about whites and blacks, and they understand the composition of the community. , I know how to deal with people, “Osgood said.
Chief Osgood believes that the recent killings of black men by white police officers generally underscore the need for police to retreat.
“You don’t have to chase you every time the kingdom comes from here. You don’t have to have a physical fight with you every time. We can find you and take you to another day. Sometimes you It has to be backed up, “Osgood said.
The police chief and county sheriff we spoke to are supporting a more nationwide pursuit of over-forced police. Many police stations across the country, including Florida, have already implemented implicit bias and other racial justice training, civil review committees, random body camera checks, and early warning systems to eliminate police officers in question. doing.
Each of the law enforcement leaders we talked to is on a difficult path between professional obligations and personal identity, but at that moment and to ensure that it is captured. We recognize our professional and personal responsibilities.
“If we don’t take advantage of this move now, we’ll retreat,” Sheriff Tony said.
“We have to find a way for the public to trust law enforcement again. If you need to go out to the community every day to greet, shake hands, or kiss your baby, You need to do this. You have to do it. “
Four of Florida’s Top Black Police Officers Talk About How Police Regain Public Trust
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