The NAACP is challenging law enforcement around the country to enact new de-escalation training in a three-pronged ruling passed on Tuesday during the organization’s annual meeting in Cincinnati.
A majority of the 1,400 NAACP delegates gathered to pass the resolution, made urgent by the recent shooting deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. A report by The Washington Post shows that while Blacks only make up 12.4 percent of the U.S., they are twice as likely to be shot by the police.
Titled “Legislative Accountability to Eliminate Wrongful Use of Deadly Force by Law Enforcement,” the statutes are now part of the NAACP’s national platform and will be enacted by the organization’s 2,200 local chapters.
“We’ve always had to fight for equality and justice, and the use of deadly force by law enforcement is no different,” said Nicole Taylor, in an interview with USA Today. Taylor, who drafted the resolution, is the third vice president of the Cincinnati NAACP branch and chair of its criminal justice and public safety committee.
- Legislation for mandatory police de-escalation training for all law enforcement agencies equal or greater to the number of hours spent on firearms training.
- Legislation requiring mandatory practices for law enforcement, especially in states with open-carry weapons laws, that require officers to provide clear instructions to legal weapons-holders.
- Elimination of ambiguous language in the law that allows law enforcement to use deadly force on “reasonable presumption of fear” and replace it with more definitive language that raises its use to “incidents of absolute threats.”
The organization also approved legislation regarding how to properly train eyewitnesses in recording police-involved shootings using a cell phone; many of the incidents that made national headlines involving Black men and police were captured on a cell phone camera.
According to USA Today, The Police Executive Research Forum, an independent research organization based out of Washington, D.C., released a survey pulled from 281 police agencies reported in the media during the past year. The survey revealed the average new recruit received only 58 hours of firearms training, 49 hours of tactical training, and only eight hours of de-escalation training.