I'm sorry, but it is never too early to be discussing lessons. Especially not in the current world of ADD, where folks move on as soon as the headlines disappear. For me, the two primary lessons to learn are: own responsibility and get involved.
What. No rant about Muslim-haters, police cover-up, irresponsible media reporting? No. Well, some about the latter a bit later. But, no. Why? Because you can't change what you can't change. What you have to do is own responsibility for what you can change, and get involved to change it.
It is clear from recent police forums and from experiences shared by people of color in our communities that we have a serious problem with racial equity in policing in Orange County. The most recent example is a guest column by Stephanie Perry in Sunday’s Chapel Hill News (12/21/14). Perry serves with me on the board of Orange County Justice United. We heard other stories like this during the Carrboro community forum on policing in October.
I'm going to be a little awkward. There is already a thread about the recent Carrboro and Chapel Hill Police Forums. I will be linking this post to that thread. But I want to set out (at boring length) what I have been advocating for since those Forums. And I don't want to clutter up the entirety of that other thread with my meanderings (as fascinating as I know you will find them!).
This coming Saturday (October 4) and next Monday (October 6), Chapel Hill Police and Carrboro Police respectively, along with representatives from their funding agencies, will be holding Public Forums, at which citizens will be invited to offer thoughts on the way they wish to be policed. I will be unable to attend the Carrboro Forum as I will be working. But I have written a letter to the organizers, a letter which is (amazingly) quite self-explanatory:
In the wake of the President's call to re-examine the militarization of police in the US, I go one step further, and wonder if it is not time now actively to consider disarming front-line police officers?
Chief Carolyn Hutchison is retiring, and Carrboro is looking for input into their selection process for a replacement.
Official Notice - TOC-OFFICIAL-L
Town of Carrboro, NC - Official Announcements
Calling all Carrboro
Residents- The Town of Carrboro and Developmental Associates are
beginning the process to select Carrboro's new Chief of Police. As we
kick things off, the community is invited to attend
a Public Input Session on April 22, 2013 @ 6:00pm at Carrboro Town
Hall. We want to hear your opinions on the challenges our new Chief
might face, and what qualities and competencies you think are important
to look for in the selection process.
Monday, April 22, 2013 - 6:00pm
Zircon - This is a contributing Drupal Theme
Design by WeebPal