With protests in the streets and votes cast on Election Day, the voters spoke loud and clear: They demanded that racial equity become a top-shelf priority of the new administration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
Yasser Payne, associate professor of sociology and Africana studies, said a set of reforms commensurate to the outrage brought on by the deaths of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and others were required to materialize real change with police.
Payne said he sees bold strides for police reform in Biden’s Racial Equity Plan.
“The Racial Equity Plan’s recommendations for police reform are the boldest ever advanced by a president of the United States,” he said. “Banning chokeholds and weapons of war and creating use-of-force standards and developing an oversight commission are among the most crucial issues that need to be addressed to achieve real change. If implemented, this plan will certainly improve trust between police and poor Black communities, because it provides a clear set of goals for police departments to pursue.”
He did spotlight one gap: The lack of viable community policing programs. “Among the most effective crime reduction strategies are programs that improve the relationship between police and poor Black communities," Payne said.