North Carolina Has 6 Black Female Police Chiefs for the 1st Time in State’s History

(photo via thegrio.com)

via thegrio.com

North Carolina currently has six Black female police chiefs, the first time this has ever happened in state history, according to WRAL. Raleigh’s Cassandra Deck-Brown, Durham’s C.J. Davis, Morrisville’s Patrice Andrews and Fayetteville’s Gina Hawkins, three of the six chiefs, spoke to the station about their unique positions.

“We’ve broken a glass ceiling,” Deck-Brown told WRAL’s Lena Tillett. “So, becoming chief, the honor is knowing that somebody else has that opportunity to get there.” All three said that they felt that they had to work much harder than their white male counterparts, and they all were sure to acknowledge the increasing enmity between police and communities of color, an enmity that they are trying to help soothe.

They said that they are working to introduce more empathy and compassion to policing in an attempt to help change the way that police are perceived by their communities, especially in areas that have a history of specifically targeting people of color.“This is a paradigm shift in policing,” Deck-Brown said. “This is what 21st century [policing] looks like. All we need is the opportunity. Some do it better than others, but we need the opportunity.”

Hawkins, the mother of black children, also admitted that it was sometimes hard to reconcile her life and the fact that police often are the perpetrators of racism. “We’ve always been of color,” Hawkins said. “We’ve always had those family members, and that conversation that we have with our family members and our friends doesn’t change because we happen to have our uniform on.”

Source: North Carolina has 6 Black female police chiefs for the first time in history | theGrio

Zena Stephens Elected 1st Black Female Sheriff in Texas

Zena Stephens, Democratic candidate for Jefferson County Sheriff, is swarmed by supporters offering hugs of congratulations and celebrating her win in Beaumont Tuesday. (Photo by Kim Brent/The Enterprise)

Zena Stephens, Democratic candidate for Jefferson County Sheriff, is swarmed by supporters offering  congratulations and celebrating her win in Beaumont Tuesday. (Photo by Kim Brent/The Enterprise)

article by Liz Teitz via houstonchronicle.com

BEAUMONT – While history was being made with the election of Donald Trump as president, Zena Stephens was making a little of her own in Southeast Texas by becoming the state’s first black female sheriff.

And it took three elections to do it.

In the March primary, Stephens knocked out the incumbent sheriff’s chief deputy, who was the favorite of law enforcement and had significantly outraised Stephens. In May, she bested an African-American constable in a runoff. Then on Tuesday she narrowly defeated a 39-year retired Beaumont police lieutenant to become sheriff of Jefferson County.

According to the Sheriffs’ Association of Texas, which tracks the history of the office, Stephens is the first black woman elected sheriff in the state.

After her victory, she acknowledged the significance of her success.

“I think it is important, because I never saw anybody who looked like me in this role, or as a police chief, when I was growing up,” said Stephens. “And so the idea, not just for girls but for any minority, that you can obtain these jobs at this level, I think that’s important. And it’s important for these jobs in law enforcement and any job to reflect the community they serve.”

To read full article, go to: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Jefferson-County-elects-Texas-first-black-female-10605106.php

NYPD Deputy Chief Juanita Holmes, Formerly Abused by Husband, Rises to Top Spot of Domestic Violence Unit

Deputy Chief Juanita Holmes (left), seen at the 81st Precinct in Brooklyn, which she led with Capt. Vanessa Knight (right), is now in charge of the NYPD's Domestic Violence Unit.

Deputy Chief Juanita Holmes (left), seen at the 81st Precinct in Brooklyn, which she led with Capt. Vanessa Knight (right), is now in charge of the NYPD’s Domestic Violence Unit. (LINDA ROSIER/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)

An NYPD chief who made headlines when she was beaten by her husband is the new head of the Domestic Violence Unit, the Daily News has learned.

Deputy Chief Juanita Holmes, 50, was picked by Police Commissioner Bill Bratton to replace Deputy Chief Kathleen O’Reilly, who was put in charge of Patrol Borough Manhattan North.

In 2011, Holmes was beaten by her husband on the front lawn of the home of an NYPD detective he accused her of having an affair with.

Holmes, who suffered broken ribs in the attack, told authorities her husband, retired Hempstead, L.I., Detective William Fowlkes, was mistaken.  Fowlkes later pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault.  An order of protection was also issued, but he avoided jail time under the condition he attend domestic violence classes.

Sources said the incident did not play much of a role in Bratton’s decision to transfer Holmes, a 27-year veteran.

CHASE; ray;

Juanita Holmes (far left) and her sisters have all been cops. (MICHAEL SCHWARTZ/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)

“Does being a victim in a domestic incident give you perspective that might help?” one source asked.  “Of course, but it’s not why she got the job.”

After the unseemly incident, some NYPD insiders predicted Holmes, then a deputy inspector, would not advance much further in her career.  But she returned to her Brooklyn station house, the 81st Precinct, which she ran after her predecessor was transferred following corruption allegations by whistleblower Officer Adrian Schoolcraft.

While there, she testified on the city’s behalf during a civil trial over the NYPD’s controversial use of stop-and-frisk, which she said “can be used to deter a crime that’s about to happen.”

For a time, Holmes’ second-in-command at the 81st was Capt. Vanessa Knight. It’s believed to be the first time two black women ran an NYPD precinct.  Holmes was subsequently promoted twice more and is now a deputy chief.

She took over the Domestic Violence Unit on Monday after a short stint as the No. 2 officer at the Training Bureau.

article by Rocco Parascandola via nydailynews.com