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Newark, N.J., wants to set standard for police reform following George Floyd death

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Jay Davis is the editor-in-chief of The International Telegraph.

Racial disparities in policing still seem to be thwarting those efforts.

The implementation of anti-bias training and an overhauled policy on use-of-force seems to be a step in the right direction for the Newark Police Department. It just doesn’t seem to be enough, according to some Black residents.

NBC reported on Saturday that there exists a “sense of resignation among young Black men” and that is “one of the many obstacles Newark faces as it tries to transform its police force and repair the agency’s reputation for brutality and racism”.

According to data from the Newark Police Division, Black people were 1.5 times more likely as white people to be stopped. The same report reveals In 2019, Newark, N.J., police used force on Black people 2.7 times as often as on white people.

Note: Black total includes people identified as Black or Black-Hispanic. White total includes people identified as white or white-Hispanic.

Jon Schuppe, the NBC correspondent covering this topic reports “At the same time, a civilian oversight agency — a cornerstone of Newark’s attempt to restore the public trust in the police — has been upended by the local officers’ union, which has sued to keep it from conducting its own investigations of misconduct.”

Issues are escalated by the fact that “the department has also hired 600 officers who know the job only under the federally mandated measures, police say.” (NBC)

With all of these challenges in place the department still remains optimistic. “We can be a model. People will be coming here to see what we’re doing,” Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose said at a news conference in June. The 1077 officer department now employes 366 Black officers and 473 Hispanic officers.

More details on this story can be found on NBC News.

SourceNBC News
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