The Human Potential: Bridging the Divide Between Communities of Color and the Police

Given the recent events in the Twin Cities and nationally, trust and communication between Communities of Color and the Police is at a record low. How do we change that paradigm moving forward?

  • MPR News Presents: The Human Potential -Bridging the Divide Between Communities of Color and the Police at The Fitzgerald Theater on Mar 28, 2017 7:00 PM

    MPR News presents: The Human Potential, the new series of conversations that dig into timely news topics and the issues facing our society continues...
    These face-to-face conversations foster understanding, cultivate empathy and allow for multiple perspectives. Our goal is to take on the difficult conversations people wish they could have, but don't know how or where to start. We’ll do that work for them, bringing people together and starting the conversation.
    In this era of divisive and sensational rhetoric, creating a forum for these respectful yet challenging discussions is essential to informing our audiences and uniting our communities. We’ll provide a safe setting where citizens can come together, talk with and learn from each other, and be a catalyst for action.
    MPR News’ award-winning reporter Brandt Williams will lead community members and an invited cadre of diverse guests from across the Twin Cities through what promises to be more thought-provoking conversations. Brandt Williams is a reporter with MPR News’ Metro Unit. At MPR, Brandt has extensively covered city government, public safety and courts; race and justice; and livability issues in the city of Minneapolis.
    Bridging the Divide Between Communities of Color and the Police Given the recent events in the Twin Cities and nationally, trust and communication between Communities of Color and the Police is at a record low. How do we change that paradigm moving forward? How can the police and the communities of color that they serve build bridges of understanding and cooperation in order to reduce fear and mistrust; providing safer interactions for everyone?
    Tickets are free; however, we request that you reserve your tickets in advance for the event.
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  • People share their ideas for building bridges of trust, understanding and cooperation between communities of color and the police. 

    Officers of all ranks should participate in friendly community events & interactions that support residents & benefit the communities.

                           - Rosalie Sundin, Richfield

    1-Get cops out of their cars and into the communities. More presence at community events. More foot patrols. More visits to schools and local businesses (all not connected to enforcement actions). Also get involved with mentoring, role modeling and coaching activities for teens and youth.

    2-Focus more on de-escalation rather than defaulting to deadly force.

    3-Require cops to live in the communities they police for first 5 years on the force.

    4-Push out bad cops (both the criminal ones and the ones that are just lousy at their jobs).

    5-Require community input on promotions. 

    6-When poor policing results in death or injury take decisive action to correct the error.

    7-Don't assume that the race of applicants will be the best indicator of whether a cop will relate to a community, there are many factors.

    8-Work with law enforcement unions and associations to make sure they know that bad cops make them all look bad.

                         - Geoffrey Mason, St. Paul

    Police and media should stop vilifying and de-humanzing people of color for existing.

                          - Gwendorlene Chea, Osseo

    1) Change the face of law enforcement -- both the identity (more people of color, more women) and the mindset (more "guardian," less "warrior.") 

    2) Deepen relationships between communities of color and law enforcement through candid conversations, town halls and other semi-structured formats that allow for law enforcement to better understand the perspectives, expectations, concerns, and the humanity of the communities they serve; and conversely, help the community to see the people wearing the uniform of law enforcement as well as understand the mission and the challenges faced by officers charged with policing their community. This includes how citizens can file complaints and voice concerns when policing falls short of community expectations, and best practices for mutual safety when law enforcement and members of the community interact.

                           - Bill Woodson, Minneapolis

    Stop reporting the color of a persons skin when they are arrested.  Or shot.

                            - Jim Koepke, Bloomington

    Pay the police officers more for learning the language is spoken in their communities fluently.  Community members would conduct the lessons and or the evaluations.

                             - Carlos Grados, Minneapolis

    Focus on what's right, not what's wrong. Tension is a good thing in a movie script or a novel, because it sells. I fear the same is true in our prevailing media culture. We focus on what's wrong to the exclusion of what's right and we deduce from that some erroneous conclusions. Our community "leaders" (political, religious, academic) need to focus less on the wedges that split and divide us and more on the things that bind us together. For too long we've heard the steady drumbeat of division. It's been internalized to such an extent that we've become jaded and distrustful. It's time to celebrate some of the good that is happening. Guess I'm now an old man, but I still believe that we can foster goodness by demonstrating it and reporting on it. A few bad police are not representative of the whole. But it's demoralizing for them when most of the news reported is about bad cops. It's disproportional.

                              - Bruce Schultz, Wayzata

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  • Thanks for joining everyone. The program will be live in a moment. Folks are making their way to their seats.
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