Tag: community policing

Lezley McSpadden, Mother of Slain Teen Michael Brown, Announces Candidacy for Ferguson City Council

Lezley McSpadden, whose son Michael Brown was fatally shot by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, four years ago, announced that she is running for city council in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. (photo via thegrio.com)

by Natasha S. Alford via thegrio.com

Lezley McSpadden says Michael would’ve wanted it.

The mother of 18-year-old Michael Brown, unarmed Black teenager who was shot to death by police officer Darren Wilson, is running for Ferguson City Council.

Four years after Brown’s death, McSpadden made the announcement Friday afternoon.

“Yesterday made four years for my son’s death. I thought that I would wake up and would be really sad… but when I woke up I had a different type of energy. I had a energy of get up out this bed and go.  You have work to do.” McSpadden told theGrio in an exclusive interview.

“[Michael] was just speaking to me, ‘Mom it’s time for you to shake it off. It’s time for you to do what you say you want to do.  And get justice for me.”

McSpadden’s announcement comes on the heels of another game-changing candidate, Wesley Bell, who beat out incumbent St. Louis County prosecutor, Bob McCulloch, in the Democratic primary.

McCullouch was criticized for how he handled Brown’s case and was accused of being “buddy buddy” with police. McSpadden says Bell supports her candidacy and inspires her. “Seeing him win for St. Louis County prosecutor gave me hope that I can do this.  That I can state adversity in the face and be the change my son needs,” said the 38-year old McSpadden.

McSpadden says she wants to use her platform to advocate for economic equality, access to health care, and a topic which surely hits close to home — community policing. “One of the things that I know to be true; the people who are employed as police officers do not live in this area, they are not familiar with the community or a regular John Doe who walks to and from the store. That’s a big issue.” McSpadden told theGrio.

McSpadden says she will advocate for building better community relations. “That should keep down this repeated pattern of words we hear in encounters ‘I fear for my life.’”

Despite battling with depression, McSpadden has worked diligently through her grief, going back to school for her high school diploma, traveling the world to speak about her son’s death and even writing a book.

“The only thing that has changed within me is time. People say ‘time heals all wounds— I don’t know if this wound will ever heal, but I’ve gotten wiser and educated myself to know. I’m putting my faith into God. I have no doubt that I’ll be elected.”

Source: https://thegrio.com/2018/08/10/lezley-mcspadden-mother-michael-brown-announces-candidacy-for-ferguson-city-council/

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

LAPD Deputy Chief Bill Scott to Take Over as Chief of Scandal-Plagued San Francisco Police Department

Community members listen to LAPD Deputy Chief Bill Scott, right, at a town hall meeting to discuss an increase in violent crime in the Southwest L.A. community in March. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

article by Richard Winton via latimes.com

LAPD Deputy Chief William “Bill” Scott, the department’s highest-ranking African American officer, has been appointed chief of the San Francisco Police Department following recent scandals involving racist texting among Bay Area officers.

Scott, who oversees LAPD’s South Bureau, was selected by San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee to lead the embattled department. “It’s an honor and I am humbled,” Scott said in a brief message. “I have a lot of people to give thanks to.”Scott’s was one of three names sent by the police commission to Lee. Scott will replace acting Police Chief Toney Chaplin, a 26-year department veteran who previously led the department’s homicide division.

Scott’s hiring comes after a six-month study by the U.S. Justice Department found that the San Francisco Police Department disproportionately used force on people of color, and stopped and searched them more often than it did white people.  Former Police Chief Greg Suhr stepped down in May at the request of the mayor following a series of scandals that rocked the department.

New SFPD Chief William "Bill" Scott (photo via nbclosangeles.com)
New SFPD Chief William “Bill” Scott (photo via nbclosangeles.com)

Scott joined the LAPD in 1989, working his way up the ranks. He was a young officer in the San Fernando Valley on the day the 1992 riots broke out and was immediately sent to South L.A., where he previously worked.

Scott, a U.S. Army brat, grew up in several cities before his family settled in Birmingham, Ala. Scott attended the University of Alabama.

Scott is known as an advocate of community policing and has said policing has changed dramatically for the better since his days as a rookie.  Officers, he said, need to think of themselves as guardians watching over communities — not warriors cracking down on them.

“That means if we’ve got to take somebody to jail, we’ll take them to jail,” Scott said last year. “But when we need to be empathetic and we need to be human, we’ve got to do that too.”

To read full article, go to: L.A.’s highest ranking African American officer to head scandal-plagued SFPD – LA Times