Will Learning Black History Prevent Police Brutality in Washington DC?

In 2014, thousands marched throughout the Washington DC streets in the “Justice for All” rally. They marched in solidarity to protest police brutality and the killing of unarmed black man. This was just one of many marches and rallies across the nation that highlighted the problem of racial biases, racism, and police brutality in our country. Now, numerous police departments and cities are trying to do something about it.

Police BrutalityIn April 2018, Washington DC Mayor Muriel E. Bowser declared that all DC police officers would need to complete a one-day mandatory critical-race-theory program. According to the Washington Post, this program is a joint venture between the Washington DC police department and the University of the District of Columbia Community College. It’s primary goal is to build a greater sense of trust between the police and the black residents of DC.

Why Critical-Race-Theory Training?

Even though violent crime has dropped 23% in the nation’s capital in the past year, relations between the local police and black residents are still strained. Concerns over racial biases among police officers and the excessive use of force has gained national attention and continues to be felt sharply throughout the black community. This new training is just one step towards correcting these biases and reducing police brutality in DC.

What Does the Training Entail?

The program will be taught over one day and it will be taught in three parts:

  • A three hour black history lesson
  • A tour of the National Museum of African American History and Culture
  • A lesson on U Street to study police brutality

Examining Police Brutality in the Country

This is not the final answer but just one step towards acknowledging the ugly history of police brutality and race in the United States. According to the Washington Post, African Americans are 2.5 times more likely to be shot and killed by police officers in this country. While African Americans only make up 13% of the U.S. population, they account for 24% of people who are fatally shot by police.

Black Lives Matter rallies and marches have drawn national attention to the unfair racial biases that exist in our current system. This has prompted police departments across the country to address these unconscious biases and use of excessive force. Earlier this year, Maryland police departments started their own unconscious bias program, which uses 90 unique virtual reality simulations to examine and correct police responses and biases. The program started in January, and 60-80 new police officers complete this training weekly.

Victims of Police Brutality Are Not Alone

If you are a victim of police brutality, it is important to know that you are not alone. The law is on your side – even if it doesn’t feel like it. At the McDaniel Law Group, our Washington DC legal team is ready to fight for you and your rights. We believe in holding negligent and irresponsible police officers accountable for their actions. As such, we fight aggressively for all our clients. Contact our experienced Washington DC legal team at (202)-873-9244.