Wednesday, April 13, 2022 from 8:00 PM to 9:30 PM EDT
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Dr. Kara Dillard
James Madison University ICAD 


2022 College National Week of Deliberation | Policing: What Should We Do to Ensure Fair Treatment and Keep Our Neighborhoods Safe?

Please join us for the Spring 2022 National Week of Deliberation online deliberative forum using Common Ground for Action (CGA) on Wednesday April 13, 2022 at 8:00pm Eastern/5pm Pacific on “Policing: What Should We Do to Ensure Fair Treatment and Keep Our Communities Safe?"

The College National Week of Deliberation CGA college forum series connects college students from across the country to discuss and make choices together about today's most pressing, wicked issues. As more campuses become ideological bubbles, this initiative hopes to give students a space to talk across geographic and ideological divides to see what common ground we have to act on wicked issues.

Overiew of “Policing: What Should We Do to Ensure Fair Treatment and Keep Our Communities Safe?"

The United States is in conflict, as most Americans demand change in the policing practices that are intended to create safer neighborhoods. In the spring of 2020, the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Rayshard Brooks sparked nation- wide protests as many citizens voiced their concerns about the unjust treatment of racial minorities. All three died during encounters with police, and their names joined a lengthy list: Eric Garner in New York City in 2014, Freddie Gray in Baltimore, MD in 2015, Philando Castile in St. Paul, MN and Alton Sterling
in Baton Rouge, LA in 2016, to name only a few.

This issue framework presents three broad options for improving police practices and suggests actions that could be taken to make progress on each. As with all ideas for change, all of these actions involve risks and trade-offs as well as benefits.

But the ideas outlined here are just a starting point. They are meant to spur deliberation on an issue that increasingly disturbs Americans of all ages and all races. Those taking part in these forums can consider the options and actions listed here as well as to modify, reject, or add to them.

As with most other difficult issues, sound judgments depend on taking the time to consider the facts and listen to people with different experiences and perspectives.

What should we do to ensure equal justice and fair treatment in our communities?  In our 90 minute deliberative discussion, we will discuss three options to act:

Option 1: Make increasing accountability our top priority: Nearly all of us want to live in law abiding communities, but to ensure safety and justice for all, we need well trained, thoughtful and accountable police officers who do not solely rely on force and intimidation. We should rethink the ways in which police officers are hired, trained, and disciplined.

Option 2: Make confronting racial bias our top priority. Law enforcement agencies reflect this country's history of persistent racial discrimination and injustice. If we do not address biased thinking among officers and widespread racial discrimination, abusive policing will continue.

Option 3: Make avoiding violent encounters the top priority. By default, we have left the police to deal with social problems that many in our communities have never considered whether there are more cost effective ways to handle. We should provide other programs, services to address social ills.