Professor Jones: Ending violent confrontations with police goes beyond proper preparation


As published by CBS WBBM Chicago

Jones, Sam Public safety experts say the way police officers view communities of color may set the stage for some of the fatal confrontations we’ve seen in recent years, like the killing of Laquan McDonald, felled by 16 bullets from an officer’s gun, reports WBBM Political Editor Craig Dellimore.

Could some confrontations with police be reduced if young African-American men had better preparation for encounters with officers on the street? Mark Payne, director of CeaseFire Illinois says his group is already providing that.

“What it is is a group of organizations across the city that work with young men around community health that teach de-escalation, mediation, conflict resolution,” Payne said.

But, professor Samuel Jones of the John Marshall Law School says the problems go beyond that.

“When I look at situations like the Tamir Rice case where a 12-year-old was playing in a park is shot by police or when an African American male is standing in Walmart shot by police, they are not engaged in any conduct that is illegal,” professor Jones said. “They’ve not been given an opportunity to confront police or to explain what they are doing.”

There’s certainly agreement that police need better training.