Yesterday, the President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice continued its hearing on community engagement. The hearing was conducted via teleconference and featured expert witnesses who provided testimony and answered questions from the commissioners.
The commission received testimony from Glen Gilzean, President and CEO of the Central Florida Urban League; Norman Reimer, Executive Director of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and; Deena Hayes-Greene, Managing Director, Trainer, and Organizer of the Racial Equity Institute.
The panelists discussed the role of community engagement in the criminal justice system. Mr. Gilzean testified to the importance of building trust between the African American community and law enforcement and provided a number of examples of programs that have demonstrated success in fostering dialogue between the two communities. Ms. Hayes-Greene testified to the systemic disparities that exist for African Americans across all professional fields, but particularly throughout the criminal justice system. Mr. Reimer’s testimony provided many recommendations for reforms for law enforcement, one in particular, he argued, is the need for law enforcement to be subject to certification and de-certification like other professional fields, such as lawyers, social workers, doctors, etc. The prospect of losing one’s certification could serve as a deterrent to wrongdoing and abuse, he said.
For more information on the commission, please visit: https://www.justice.gov/ag/presidential-commission-law-enforcement-and-administration-justice. Audio recordings and transcripts of the hearings will be posted online once available.