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Comprehensive Strategies Needed In Law Enforcement by Congressman André Carson

***Originally posted in Mobile News Thursday, August 4, 2016 in the Indianapolis Recorder***

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Congressman André Carson

Recently, our country witnessed the deaths of two African-American men, shot by law enforcement within days of each other. Last month, it was in St. Paul, Minnesota and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. But we know these tragedies can happen anywhere — in Chicago, in Baltimore, and, here, in our own backyard.

It seems that every few weeks another African-American man is shot by the police, with the same results. Communities call for the Justice Department and the FBI to oversee the investigation because we do not trust the local police to police themselves. A lawsuit is filed and a settlement is reached. And then, we return to business as usual. Despite learning the same lessons over and over again, no real changes are made.

So far this year, police have killed more than 500 people, including at least 115 Black men. Many of these were unarmed. Many never resisted arrest or posed bodily harm to the officers responsible. As a former cop, I know that our men and women in uniform are sometimes forced to make difficult decisions about the use of force. I also know that the intentional misuse of force is a betrayal of the oath to protect and serve. It is a crime, plain and simple, and warrants severe consequences under the law. The vast majority of our officers agree. Yet, state-by-state, city-by-city, and county-by-county, there is no national strategy to prevent police brutality.

That is why I am requesting a meeting with the Attorney General, FBI Director and top law enforcement officials to advocate for a comprehensive strategy that promotes community policing, ensuring that cops come from and know the communities they patrol. We need to ensure officers receive proper training, including de-escalation of difficult situations and the use of proportional force instead of deadly force. Our departments need a zero tolerance policy for racial and ethnic profiling. And, above all, we need to rebuild the broken trust between law enforcement and our communities.

As a nation and as a community, the most important thing is that we resist the impulse to let these violent tragedies divide us. While we come to terms with our grief and anger, we must do everything we can to find healing and unity. As President Barack Obama said, we can try to see more of ourselves in others, in our neighbors and in our fellow Hoosiers.

Now in his 4th full term in the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman André Carson has established himself as an influential leader and respected public servant, fighting for good paying jobs, economic growth, and safer communities for Indiana’s working families.

Congressman Carson consistently fights for the Middle Class, securing hundreds of millions for investments in public safety, education, infrastructure, and the creation and protection of thousands of good paying jobs.  Additionally, the Congressman has made accessibility a priority for his office, holding regular meetings around the district and hosting Congress on Your Corner events to ensure constituents have easy access to the resources and information they need.

In Washington, Carson fought to pass the historic health care reform law, which provides families and business with better health insurance options and makes health care more affordable and accessible for tens of millions of Americans.  As a former member of the House Financial Services Committee, he also helped pass Wall Street Reform, which protects consumers by ending government bailouts and the risky lending practices that almost destroyed our economy.

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Black Westchester - News With The Black Point Of View is an online news magazine for people of color for Westchester and the Tri- State area of New York at every economic level. Our mission is to promote the concept of “community” through media.
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