Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid applauded the Department of Justice’s plan, announced on Thursday, to address police brutality. Also, Reid reminded us that Republicans continue to close their eyes to this deadly issue.
During this election, the Republicans’ Presidential candidate made pretending the issue doesn’t exist look good compared to his calls for less transparency and more stop and frisk.
In a statement Reid said:
This announcement shows the Department of Justice is serious about addressing this national crisis, and I applaud Attorney General Loretta Lynch for taking such an important step. This initiative will help hold law enforcement accountable and provide police with the information they need to better respond to the communities they serve. But we must do more.
Americans are rightly outraged by the epidemic of police brutality that has long plagued our nation. Far too many people – especially people of color – have died during encounters with police. The evidence is heartbreaking and indisputable, yet, under Republican leadership in Congress, nothing is being done to stop it. This initiative should be the first of many steps to address the root causes of this senseless violence and rebuild the broken bonds of trust between communities and their police departments.
As Reid said, police brutality is a long-term epidemic with deadly consequences especially for people of color.
The Department of Justice recognizes it is important to collect data on police use of force and deaths in police custody. But it’s as important to make that data transparent if we are to have meaningful discussion and find effective solutions. Also, this is how you take the first steps toward rebuilding trust between communities and law enforcement.
Their data also shows a disproportionate number of the people killed were African American and Hispanic or Latino. It’s little wonder that minorities perceive their relationship with the police vastly differently than white people do.
If you’re white, your life is assumed to matter. If you’re a person of color, it takes a group like Black Lives Matter to make the same statement.
If you’re a white parent you don’t need to have “the talk” with your child about how to survive an encounter with the police.
If you’re a white woman, you don’t have to remain calm and livestream after police kill your boyfriend before your (and your child’s) eyes, as Lavish Reynolds did. You don’t need to document it with video because odds are highly against it happening.
It’s so much easier to close your eyes to this deadly reality when the odds of it happening to you or someone you love is virtually non-existent. But closing your eyes harms all of us.