Urging peaceful protest, National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial is calling for thorough, independent investigations of the police-involved shootings in Charlotte, N.C., and Tulsa, Oklahoma, and accountability for excessive use of force.
“These incidents, which seem now to occur with frustrating regularity, not only erode the trust between police departments and the communities they are sworn to protect, but also serve to alienate Black Americans at a time when our leaders and institutions need to be promoting unity.
“We pray for the families of Keith Scott and Terrence Crutcher and for the 12 officers injured in unrest,” Morial said.
The National Urban League’s 10-Point Justice Plan for Police Reform and Accountability recommends the mandatory use of body and dashboard cameras, comprehensive retraining of all police officers, and the appointment of special prosecutors to investigate police-involved shootings.
“Soldiers in the heat of battle have more stringent guidelines for the use of deadly force against enemy combatants than police officers in our own communities,” Morial pointed out. “Police work is difficult, dangerous and stressful. Only the most highly qualified and expertly trained individuals should be entrusted to make life-and-death decisions on America’s streets.”
Morial said a recent incident in Hartford, Connecticut, in which officers were recorded conspiring to fabricate evidence, is just one example of the need for independent review of alleged police misconduct.
“We’ve seen too many officers escape the consequences not only of irresponsible decisions but of blatant misconduct,” Morial said. “Only by setting high standards and holding police accountable can we heal the rifts in this country.”