Deminski: Race classes for New Jersey police officers is not the answer
On Wednesday, the state's new attorney general ordered police offers from over 500 agencies to take racial-bias training. According to NorthJersey.com, Attorney General Christopher Porrino is making the classes, along with training in de-escalating violent encounters, an annual requirement. He pretty much had no say in the matter as he's following through with a law signed by Governor Christie in August that required Porrino's office to develop cultural sensitivity courses for all law enforcement.
The classes will be an initial five hours by the end of 2017 then three hours per year every year after. They will cover such things as de-escalation techniques, racial profiling, implicit bias, communication skills, and cultural diversity awareness. And I'm getting sick to my stomach as I write all this crap. The rare, truly racist police officer needs to be weeded out and taken off the streets. True racism is deep in one's heart and will not be changed by the racist bluffing their way through some stupid class. For the rest of the cops who are good, solid, caring professionals this is putting all the blame on their side of the table. Most recent police conflicts began with someone disobeying lawful orders by police. Not all. But most. Most police shootings are set into motion not by the action of police but by the action of the so-called victims.
Do we really need 'cultural sensitivity' to figure out different ways for an officer to get someone to lay face down on the ground? Does "get on the ground" mean run away into a dark alley in some cultures? Doesn't "stop running" and "keep your hands where I can see them" and "drop the gun" mean the same thing no matter the color of your skin? Do these words mean something different to black people than they do to white people, Asian people, etcetera? If they do, then the wrong side of the table is being sent to class here. Where's the outcry for people of color to attend remedial education to learn how to behave when receiving lawful orders from a police officer? This must be a horrible time to be a member of law enforcement in this country. I can't believe anyone is still signing up for the job, although thank God they are. We need to stop assuming police are out to get black people. We need to stop treating police officers involved in a shooting as guilty before being proven innocent. Until black communities can do this, all the sensitivity training in the world isn't going to change anything. Black communities are more in need of classes regarding police interactions than is law enforcement. I'm sorry, were those words too politically incorrect for you?
Then maybe there are easier words you should learn. Drop. The. Gun. Hands. Where. I. Can. See. Them.
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