DC Attorney General on George Floyd: ‘All we ask for is for fair and just policing’

D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine asked those taking part in his office’s Cure the Streets violence disruption program to observe a moment of silence for the family of George Floyd, a black man who died while being arrested by a white police officer in Minneapolis and touched off national protests.

“All we ask for is for fair and just policing,” said Racine at the start of the session.

“To ask for fair and just policing is not anti-police. It’s actually pro-equality, pro-fairness and pro-justice.”

The purpose of the so-called “#Take30” chat was to get an update on reducing violence in the District through the Cure for Streets program, but the subject matter also covered issues of police tactics and relations between law enforcement and communities.

Cure the Streets consultant Dr. Andre Brown believes police brutality in general is not necessarily about attitudes but protocol.

“When we see police doing tactics that are barbarian or over the top, when you go back to the police manuals they’re within the limits of what the manual says,” said Dr. Brown, who is bringing his expertise in policing matters in Los Angeles to the District.

Another Cure the Streets program member, Antoine Gatlin, said law enforcement is losing connections with communities because of what’s been going on throughout the world and the people saying “I’m going to run from you [police officer] because I might get hurt.”

“I think a lot of the police [officers] need to be retrained on how to deal with different individuals in the communities,” said Gatlin.

“In policing, a lot of times you get attitudes, a lot of people are mad that you are the police.”

Racine pointed out an audience member comment that suggested an issue might rest in having more police officers who are from the District on the force.

As far as de-escalating potentially violent arrests, Racine said they’ve seen good results with handing out citations instead … in certain situations

Racine also cited overall improvements and changes made when Charles Ramsey became D.C. Police Chief in 1998, when he voluntarily put the department into a consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice which investigated and suggested changes in police training.

Ken Duffy

Ken Duffy is a reporter and anchor at WTOP with more than 20 years of experience. He has reported from major events like the 2016 Democratic and Republican National Conventions, 2016 Election Night at Trump Headquarters in Midtown Manhattan and the 2007 Super Bowl in Miami.

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