This is my trust-building vision: A national summit is organized which calls together our nation’s police leaders. The purpose is to discuss the growing problem of mistrust and lack of support among significant numbers of Americans for their police.
At the summit, police leaders work to identify the problem, listen to one another along with the various representatives voices of those who feel offended by police.
I see the Police Foundation being a primary organizer.
I see people helping the discussion like Robert Enright of the International Forgiveness Center along with Ta-Nehisi Coates (“The Case for Reparation”) and Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow).
One of the solutions to be considered is for police to make apology (see my post on this) for past behaviors that have unfairly treated or oppressed others. Apology is often the first step toward restoring broken trust which, in the present matter, undermines the support that police need from those whom they serve to be effective in what they do.
At this summit meeting, systems and actions that have tended to cause mistrust will be identified and a commitment made to take action. A written statement will be issued at the conclusion of the meeting including the willingness to follow-up on the solutions.
I believe that collectively taking the steps toward forgiveness is the only way forward to restore the trust and support that are necessary for police to effectively function in a democratic society. It will not be an easy task and there are no shortcuts. It will take time.
This is my vision, my dream.
All I need now is help – I need to hear from police leaders, present and past, who will help me make this dream a reality.
Samuel Freedman from The New York Times did a nice interview with me on this subject HERE.
Reblogged this on Improving Police and commented:
Earlier this year, before the President’s Task Force, I wrote this post calling for a national summit meeting that would begin to rebuild trust between police and communities of color.
Eventually, we will need some kind of “truth and reconciliation” commission in which apology will play a meaningful role. We cannot continue on the path we are on. The violence must stop and changes must be made.