Seeds of police reform, the Dallas model

Seeds of Police Reform
Rosa Parks and Rev. Clarence Glover speaking at the Criminal Justice Brain Trust in Sept 25, 1987

 

By CLARENCE GLOVER

Sankofa Garden Homes

 

Plants like social justice require seeds to be planted. Without the work of planting seeds that produce strong roots there will not be healthy fruits.

Today in the mist of social change regarding the police department and the African American community we would do well to recognize the seeds planted and fruit produced from past efforts.

Just as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks passed on to my generation the fruits of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Civil Rights Act of 1965, my generation passed on the 1980s Dallas Police Reforms. These reforms can serve as a framework for Dallas to build on and for others to use as a guide for police reform during these challenging times.

My closing remarks during my testimony during the 1987 Dallas Congressional Hearing on Police/Minority Community Relations convened by former Congressman John Conyers sheds light on today,

“While we can discuss and explore other areas of concern, I strongly feel that unless the problem of institutional and individual racism is adequately dealt with by the Dallas Police Department, and the city of Dallas, we will bequeath future generations a legacy is pain, confusion and continued social unrest.”

 

America, once race many cultures

– resolution –

 

Whereas, the untimely death of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin has once again thrust our nation into social chaos surrounding the death of an African American at the hands of a White police officer.

 

And whereas, there has existed in America since the end of the Civil War a systematic attempt to suppress and oppress the life and liberties of freed African people in America.

 

And whereas, African American and European Americans have worked together to end slavery and Jim Crow in America through their collective efforts as Abolitionist on the Underground Railroad and civil rights activists in the 1950s and 1960s.

 

And whereas, America witness a resurgence of police use of deadly force in the African American community in the 1980s by White police officers.

 

And whereas, the Dallas NAACP Committee on Police Community Relations in the 1980s took a lead to directly address the abuse and killing of African Americans at the hands of White police officers.

 

And whereas, the efforts of the Dallas NAACP along with African American police officers and community leaders led to the Dallas Police Department revising its deadly force policy from property over life, to life over property.

 

And whereas, these efforts led the Dallas Police Department to eliminating the choke hold from training and use by Dallas police officers.

 

And whereas, these efforts led to the review and revision of The Dallas Police Department’s affirmative action policy that significantly impacted the recruitment and promotion of officers of color and women as reflected by resent and present officer diversity and leadership.

 

And whereas, these efforts led to the Dallas Police Department instituting multicultural/racism awareness training in the Police Training Academy.

 

And whereas, following the deaths Mr. Willie Horton and Mrs. Etta Collins the Department of Justice under the leadership of Congressman John Conyers and Congressman John Bryant convened Congressional Hearings to address police relations in the African American community both in Dallas and Washington D.C.

 

And whereas, America is once again faced with having to address the social issues of racism, police brutality and the disproportionate use of deadly force in the African American community by a new generation of social activist.

 

Be it therefore resolved that Dallas citizens and the Dallas Police Department present to the nation “The Dallas Model of Police Community Reform” established in the 1980s as an example of how to address the current crisis of police community relations in the African American community today.

 

Be It Also Resolved, that use of the term “races” which has no scientific validity and is a racist term designed to divide humanity, be replaced by the concept of one human race and many cultures. And that cultural diversity/racism awareness training “Once Race, Many Cultures” be properly instituted in police training academies along with the elimination of the chokehold and revisions of affirmative action policies throughout America.

 

Respectively submitted, Professor Clarence E. Glover, Jr aka Professor Freedom former Chair Dallas NAACP Police-Community Relations Committee.

 

Clarence Glover, known as Professor Freedom of Sankofa Education Services, provides the Sankofa Garden Homes column. He can be reached at clarencegloverjr@aol.com.

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