Some of the feedback I receive from people of color is that the police appear to have bias against their communities. I see this myself when it seems as though every person pulled over by a Richfield Officer is a person of color. Whether this is driven intrinsically by the officers themselves or by community people who call the police anytime there is a ‘suspicious’ person of color, we need to address it.
- Train police reception to vet and weed out calls that are merely about nuisances or ‘suspicious’ behavior rather than actual crime being committed. Do not allow city government to be used as a tool of aggression against neighbors.
- Remove low-level minor offenses that don’t harm anyone from local statutes.
- Implement a city public data reporting system to track police stops and complaints by race and officer. Provide training to officers that demonstrate numerical bias in their policing. If they are unable to address and work against their biases with additional training, bar them from promotion, discipline them, or, in the worst cases, seek to demote and dismiss them.
- No enforcement of laws against cannabis by local officers. Drug law enforcement is racist. We know that the rates of drug use of whites actually exceeds that of people of color yet people of color are incarcerated, and imprisoned at far greater rates.