DEA Agent says he was told to avoid white neighborhoods

Here’s a statistic for you: Its been 31 days since the release of the White House Task Force on 21st Century Policing report, but the number of fatal police encounters is already over 100 and counting. Thats an average of more than three people killed each day in March by police in America.

Too many of this months victims fit a profile we know all too well unarmed men of color, some of whom have psychiatric disabilities. Victims like Charly Keunang in Los Angeles, California; Tony Robinson in Madison, Wisconsin; Anthony Hill in DeKalb County, Georgia; and Brandon Jones in Cleveland, Ohio; confirm that the problems with policing are national in scope.

This isnt a problem concentrated in a few rogue police departments. Even those police departments with the best of intentions need reform. Take, for example, last weeksDepartment of Justice report that Philadelphia police shot 400 people over 80 percent African-American in seven years. This is in a city where the police commissioner is an author of the very same White House task force report calling for police reform.

So clearly we must do more than read or even write these reports. Report recommendations, several of which are adopted from ACLU recommendations, must be implemented. The task force report makes 63 recommendations, but lets focus on just two. Neither one is novel, but both are critical to real police reform.

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