What Should We Do to Ensure Equal Justice and Fair Treatment in Our Communities?

Thank you for participating in a deliberative forum using Policing: What Should We Do to Ensure Equal Justice and Fair Treatment in Our Communities? This issue framework is still being developed and we would appreciate your best thinking about it.

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* 1. Were you the moderator of the forum?

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* 2. Was this forum in-person, online using video conferencing (like Zoom), or online using the Common Ground for Action platform?

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* 3. Forum Date


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* 4. If the forum was in-person, where was it? 

As a reminder, the guide presents three broad approaches for deliberation:
One: Increase accountability within police departments so that abuse is identified and punished

Two: Confront persistent racial discrimination in policing by changing the way officers are recruited and trained

Three: De-escalate and create new responses to nonviolent problems that do not require traditional law enforcement

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* 5. Did these three broad approaches seem to work as a conversation starter in your forum? Why or why not?

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* 6. Did this framework capture most of your major concerns about the issue? Are there major concerns you’ve heard from others that are not represented in this framework?

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* 7. Did any of the three approaches attract more interest and comment in your forum? If so, which one?

The guide also included fifteen possible actions, five for each approach. They are listed below as a reminder.

a)     Move domestic abuse cases out of traditional law enforcement to special family counselors and courts.

b)   Establish truth and reconciliation commissions to conduct open public hearings that expose instances of police abuse, bullying, and discrimination and provide officers and victims the opportunity to talk together and try to find a better path forward.

c)     Provide more counseling for law enforcement officers and other first responders to help them handle the pressures of the job.

d)    Make police disciplinary records available in a public database so journalists and the community have access to them and officers with repeated complaints won’t be hired elsewhere.

e)    Transform police education programs to de-emphasize weapons training and focus more on understanding the impact of racial prejudice and the problems facing the communities they serve.

f)      Move truancy enforcement back to the schools.

g)     Create diverse, multi-racial and independent civilian review boards that can investigate complaints from the public and recommend an officer’s removal if warranted.

h)    Allow members of the public to sue and collect damages when police officers are abusive or use bullying tactics.

i)      Completely reorganize police departments, and make all officers reapply to serve in new precincts focused on nonviolent and unbiased law enforcement.

j)      Stiffen police recruiting requirements and conduct extensive background checks to weed out applicants with a history of racial bias.

k)     Improve first response practices so teams that include social workers, mental health professionals, and drug counselors can get involved before situations escalate.

l)      End access to military-grade weaponry.

m)   Require officers to live in the communities they serve so they develop mutual respect for diverse residents and strong ties to all the people they serve.

n)    Expand neighborhood watch programs so that people can protect their own communities.

o)    Fire officers who fail to report suspected police misconduct; reward and promote those who do.

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* 10. Looking at the guide as a whole, were the arguments for and against the different points of view clearly stated? Do you think they were presented fairly? If not, could you point us to specific examples that seemed unfair to you?

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* 11. Were there any terms or ideas that were confusing or needed explanation?

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* 12. Not including this forum, how many National Issues Forums have you attended?

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* 13. Gender:

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* 14. Age:

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* 15. Race/Ethnicity:

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* 16. Where do you live?

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* 17. What is your zip code?

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* 18. What state do you live in?

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* 19. If you would like to learn more about NIF, please include your name and email