Tag: law enforcement

GOP Senator Tim Scott Further Exposes Racial Profiling by Police in Courageous Testimonial

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) shakes hands with Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) at a news conference on criminal justice reform, Oct. 1, 2015. (GARY CAMERON / REUTERS)

article by Laura-Barron Lopez via huffingtonpost.com

WASHINGTON ― In the course of one year as an elected official, Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) was pulled over seven times by law enforcement. Another time, a Capitol Police officer demanded that Scott show him his ID because the special pin on Scott’s suit jacket ― a pin assigned to United States senators ― evidently wasn’t enough.

Scott shared these stories and more Wednesday evening during a roughly 18-minute speech on the Senate floor. He is the only black senator in the Republican conference, and one of just two in the upper chamber.

His speech on Wednesday was the second in a series of three in response to a lone gunman killing five police officers in Dallas last week, as well as the police shootings of Alton Sterling, who was killed outside a convenience store in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Philando Castile, who was shot during a traffic stop in Minnesota. Scott delivered his first speech on Tuesday and plans to deliver the final one Thursday.

“This speech is perhaps the most difficult, because it’s the most personal,” Scott said during his Wednesday remarks.

Scott’s address on Wednesday came after four other senators urged their colleagues to take a vote on criminal justice reform ― something many lawmakers say is badly needed.

“There is a deep divide between the black community and law enforcement ― a trust gap,” Scott said. “We cannot ignore these issues. Because while so many officers do good ― and we should be very thankful in support of all those officers that do good ― some simply do not. I’ve experienced it myself.”

Scott said he chose to talk about his encounters with police, experiences that left him feeling humiliated and “very scared,” because he’s heard people trying to paint Castile and Walter Scott ― a black man who was killed by a police officer in South Carolina last year while running away ― as criminals.

“OK, then,” Scott said. “I will share with you some of my own experiences.”
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Obama: Black Lives Matter Activists Have Legitimate Concerns

President Barack Obama at a White House event on criminal justice reform moderated by The Marshall Project. (PHOTO: ASSOCIATED PRESS)

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama said Thursday that the Black Lives Matter movement has “legitimate” concerns, and indicated it was unfair to portray its activists as opposed to law enforcement. At the same time, Obama called on activists to recognize that police officers have a tough job.

Obama said activists are drawing attention to a legitimate concern about whether African-Americans are treated unfairly in specific jurisdictions or are subject to excessive force more frequently. He added that the “overwhelming majority of law enforcement is doing the right thing and wants to do the right thing.”

His comments came at an event at the White House on criminal justice reform that was moderated by The Marshall Project.

“We as a society, particularly given our history, have to take this seriously,” Obama said of the fact that African-Americans are treated unfairly by the criminal justice system. “The African-American community is not just making this up, and it’s not just something being politicized. It’s real, and there’s a history there.”

Obama also said it was important to recognize that the criminal justice system is a reflection of society.

“We as a society, if we are not investing in opportunity for poor kids, and then we expect just the police and prosecutors to keep them out of sight and out of mind, that’s a failed strategy. That’s a failure on our part as a whole,” Obama said. “If kids in the inner city are not getting treatment and opportunity, that’s as much of a problem as if it’s happening to our kids, and we’ve got to think of all our children in that same way.”

The president also addressed “All lives matter,” the frequent response to the “Black lives matter” refrain, saying that organizers of the Black Lives Matter movement were not suggesting black lives are more important than others, but rather that some things happen in black communities that wouldn’t be tolerated in other communities.

“I think everybody understands all lives matter,” Obama said. Everybody wants strong and effective law enforcement, he said, and nobody wants to see police officers hurt who are doing their jobs fairly.

article by Ruby Mellen and Ryan J. Reilly via huffingtonpost.com

Attorney General Eric Holder Announces $124 Million Community Police Hiring Grant

Attorney General Eric Holder (pictured) announced on Monday a $124 million hiring grant in the latest of the Justice Department’s goal to improve the quality of police forces nationwide. Alongside Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Director Ron Davis, the pair enacted the grant in support of strengthening community policing.The grant will fund around 950 officers at 215 law enforcement agencies across the nation. The grant money is especially focused on three key areas: increasing community policing; bolstering crime reduction; and increasing public safety.

Both Holder and Davis issued statements regarding the grant, detailing the finer points and emphasizing its grand goal of supporting officers already in place in these communities as well as new hires by way of securing salary and crime reduction efforts.

From Attorney General Holder:

“These targeted investments will help to address acute needs – such as high rates of violent crime – funding 75 percent of the salary and benefits of every newly-hired or re-hired officer for three full years,” said Attorney General Holder. “The impact of this critical support will extend far beyond the creation and preservation of law enforcement jobs. It will strengthen relationships between these officers and the communities they serve, improve public safety and keep law enforcement officers on the beat.”

From Director Davis:

“The COPS Office is pleased to assist local law enforcement agencies throughout the country in addressing their most critical public safety issues,” said Director Davis. “Funding from this year’s program will allow many cities and counties to focus newly sworn personnel on issues related to violent crime, property crime and school safety.”

Referred to as the COPS Hiring Program, the grants will be awarded to state, local, and also tribal law enforcement agencies to hire or rehire from within the communities they serve. As explained by Holder, up to 75 percent of the entry-level salaries and basic benefits of full-time officers will be funded over a period of 36 months. The local agencies must match a minimum of 25 percent local funds with the federal maximum of funding capped at $125,000 per officer.

Grant award recipients for the 2014 portion of the program were selected for plans they submitted regarding strategies, exhibiting a financial need, and the rates of violent crimes in their communities.

COPS has provided funds to more than 125,000 officers serving 13,000 national agencies to date. It has also funded several organizations over the years with more than 700,000 people receiving training via its programs. Those individuals include government leaders, community organizers, and police officials among others. The COPS program is in its 20th year, providing more than $14 billion in hiring efforts among national agencies.

Learn more about the COPS Hiring Program here.

article by D.L. Chandler via newsone.com

African-American Chosen as Miami-Dade’s Most Senior Police Officer

J.D. Patterson, Jr.
J.D. Patterson, Jr.

MIAMI – An African-American has been selected to lead the Miami-Dade Police Department. County Mayor Carlos Gimenez made a formal announcement Friday morning during a press conference.

The new director, J.D. Patterson Jr., was one of six candidates in the running for the county’s most senior cop. He has been the department’s acting head since November.

The mayor had whittled down the applicants to six possible successors following the early retirement of director Jim Loftus last October. All of the finalists came from within the department.

Patterson, a 28-year veteran of the department, has risen through the ranks from patrolman to assistant director and now this latest post as director. The 52-year-old has overseen a variety of units including auto theft, sexual batteries, and internal affairs.

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Boston’s First Black Police Officer Honored for Breaking Barriers in 1878

HoratioHomerTo Randall Halstead and other ­minority officers in the Boston Police Department, the story of Sergeant Horatio J. Homer serves as a beacon of hope and of the power of perseverance.

Homer, who in 1878 became the department’s first African-American officer, ushered in a new era in the city over a 40-year career. In the decade ­after his appointment, the force hired as many as a half-dozen additional black officers, in large part on his recommendation.

Last week, the department unveiled a plaque honoring Homer at the Area B-2 police precinct in ­Roxbury, a neighborhood where he once resided. Halstead, a deputy super­intendent, presided over the ceremony, which some of Homer’s ­descendants attended.

“This man set a precedent,” said Halstead. “To move forward, you have to know where you come from.”

The tribute is the latest honor ­bestowed upon Homer by the ­Police Department.

Continue reading “Boston’s First Black Police Officer Honored for Breaking Barriers in 1878”

The Good Things Black People Do, Give and Receive All Over The World
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