Another hot button election year issue has undoubtedly been policing practices across the country. We hope that the national conversation over the past 2+ years since Mike Brown was killed in Ferguson will continue even after the campaign season ends. And we have good reason to believe that it will proceed because for the most part, the conversation has been moved forward by an incredible alliance of civil rights organizations and federal agencies who are finding ways to improve (incrementally, regretfully) policing practices. Unfortunately, not included in the list of actors moving us forward thus far would be police unions - which is why we note this development with some hope (guarded hope, but hope nonetheless). Terrence Cunningham, who is Police Chief of Wellesley, MA and President of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, apologized on behalf of Police Chiefs for the "actions of the past and the role that our profession has played in society's historical mistreatment of communities of color." The remarks are a promising move for greater self-accountability within police organizations and shifts in police culture - and that is important. Outside pressure is also forcing federal law enforcement practices to change . Late last week, two prominent civil rights groups filed a lawsuit against the FBI for their surveillance of activists in the Movement for Black Lives. The legal case makes it pretty clear that we're not just talking about a few particular cases of unconstitutional surveillance of nonviolent activists, but a historic pattern of using surveillance to intimidate and silence social justice movements. We need more of this type of reckoning with history.  

comments powered by Disqus