We're looking deeper into consequences of police misconduct and brutality against minorities, not to overshadow any loss of life, but to highlight the racial systemic issues it adds to, including mass incarceration.
“Has taken black fathers, black sons, out of their families and out of their neighborhoods and put them in a situation where even a short jail term leads to long term, lifelong economic consequences,” said Marc Morial, the president and CEO of the National Urban League.
Morial spent the early years of his career as an attorney filing civil rights and police brutality lawsuits, defending black cops, and then became the mayor of New Orleans, helping lead an overhaul of the police department there.
Morial says it took strong leadership, changes in recruiting, hiring, and training. He even pushed for a rule requiring police to live in the city where they work.
“Lesson to be learned, reforming policing is tough and reforming it in a way that is sustainable is doubly tough,” said Morial.
According to a University of Hawaii law review article on police brutality costs, African Americans have a higher rate of PTSD than their white counterparts. And that trauma carries over more significantly in work and everyday activities.
Loss of life often means children are left without adequate support, the paper added, leaving them to fend for themselves in a school system that often serves as a pipeline to prison instead of a path to higher education.
Police misconduct leads to distrust in urban communities and a lack of cooperation on legitimate crimes.
Morial says the solution lies in community-oriented policing and funding.
“These communities need investments in schools, youth programs, housing infrastructure,” said Morial. “Inner city America has been hollowed out by public policy and private actions. It’s not fair for the next generation. It’s not fair to leave a mess and leave confusion and leave economic in equality for them.”
Morial also points to neighborhood beautification, summer jobs programs, and targeted programs for people coming out of jail and prison as systemic solutions.