The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) Working Group on Police Reform and Racial Justice recently released a statement of principles to “address racially-biased practices” in policing. The principles are intended to establish a new compact between people and the police, restore trust and accountability, rebuild legitimacy, and re-imagine policing in the country. They will be used as the blueprint for a comprehensive police reform framework and set of recommendations to be announced next month. The framework has the goal of advancing policing practices that respect and protect human life and ensure safety for all.
The updated principles which will guide the Working Group’s recommendations include:
- redefining the role of local police and public safety;
- trust and legitimacy;
- sanctity of life;
- equality and due process;
- Community; and,
- transparency and accountability to reinforce constitutional policing.
“Issues surrounding police violence and racial discrimination are generational and far-reaching. While these ills have plagued our communities for far too long, it is within our reach to repair what is broken,” said Lori Lightfoot, mayor of Chicago, IL and chair of USCM’s Criminal and Social Justice Standing Committee. “As we set budget priorities and seek to redefine the role of local police officers in cities across the United States, local officials must answer many difficult questions around who is best equipped to respond to the diverse needs of our residents, and take a hard look at whether the investments being made in Black and Latino neighborhoods, in particular, are sufficient to meet those needs. If we do not ensure thoughtful allocation of funding and adequate investment, we will never solve these systemic problems.”