A candidate running for commander-in-chief just unleashed a brand new plan to fix what he calls the ‘broken system’ of law enforcement in America.
Presidential hopeful Julian Castro wants to fight against federally funded department policing that he said “leads to the disproportionately high number of black men who are killed by police,” he said on Monday.
Castro had introduced his proposed changes this past weekend at the MoveOn Big Ideas conference in San Francisco, but on Monday he laid out the details. During the forum, he listed out names of notorious officer-involved shootings with minorities.
Julian Castro unveiled his plan on how he would change policing in America. (The White House)
“How many of these videos do we have to watch to understand that even though we have some great police officers, this is not a case of bad apples?” Castro said at the forum. “The system is broken, so let’s fix it.”
Castro said his new changes would take a closer look at officer authorization of deadly force in order to combat “racially discriminatory policing”.
Multiple states across the country have reevaluated use of force laws, including some daunting bills in California and Connecticut specifically. Critics have argued that these statutes will lead to an officer second-guessing their decisions which could ultimately lead to putting themselves or their partners at further risk of injury or death.
NBC reported that Castro said his plan would establish national standards and guidelines for police conduct; increase transparency and accountability for police departments and officers; “demilitarize” police by ending the transfer of federal military weaponry to local departments; and end racial profiling.
The Washington Post reported that 372 people have been killed during officer-involved shootings in 2019, 90 fewer than at this time last year.
From Stephon Clark, to Pamela Turner, to Tamir Rice, we're going to say their names on this campaign and in my administration. Thank you @MoveOn for letting me share my #BigIdea to reform policing in this country. Stay tuned for the full release of my plan on Monday. pic.twitter.com/hjpOaN4GjE
— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) June 2, 2019
To change policing practices, Castro says he would:
- Establish national conduct standards for police officers and departments that receive federal funding
- Require pre-employment screenings to weed out applicants “who display bias, intolerance, or other behaviors or prejudices that may threaten public safety”
- Use technology such as body cameras to support responsible policing
- Require officers to identify themselves, give a verbal warning and allow a reasonable amount of time to comply before using force
- Restrict the use of deadly force to instances where there’s an imminent threat to someone’s life and require de-escalation procedures in other circumstances
- Require implicit bias training
- Work with Congress to pass legislation to prohibit racial profiling and stop-and-frisk policies, as well as legislation to lower the burden to prosecute officers for misconduct
But has policing become the part of society that’s “over-aggressive”? Or have our communities fallen short on their end of the deal? When our news media and social interactions are quick to crucify an officer’s decisions based off of edited video splices, it’s no wonder the entire country believes we have a major problem.