January 8, 2018

Candidate Question 8 – HD 93

Do you believe that there is a serious police brutality problem in the United States? If so, what legislative actions can be taken to not just achieve individual justice, but create meaningful change?

Nancy Bean

Response Received by Jan 5

Tribalism and dehumanization effect all aspects of our society. Militarization of police and police equipment is a connected factor resulting from and exacerbating dehumanization. Community Policing on bikes and horses returns “Peace Officer” to relationship with the community. Arlington Police Chief, Will Johnson, is a national leader in deescalation training and the Department recently announced that all officers are now outfitted with body cameras. This is a major move toward police accountability and citizen re-humanization.

As a legislator, I will build coalitions to fight for and fund efforts at community police strategies, for increased police accountability through body cameras and external police review procedures, and against the militarization of police in training and equipment.

Nisha Mathews

Response Received by Jan 5

Yes, we definitely have a problem when trained police officers are shooting unarmed people. When the very same people who are supposed to protect us, hurt us instead, we lose trust in our law enforcement. I understand that police officers are subject to high stress and intense situations, and we have a problem if their standard response is to shoot out of fear. We need to provide continuous training on dealing with stressful situations and we also need to provide training on racial sensitivity. Continuous education and training is common in all industries then why is it not in practice in law enforcement? Police officers deal with human beings and humans can be unpredictable when put in chaotic situations and so it becomes imperative that our officers be properly trained and in control to alleviate the stress and negate any potential danger. We also have to address the systemic racism that clouds the judgement of some of our officers. Strict disciplinary action needs to be taken against officers who misuse their power to hurt people. It is important that we work together to help each other understand our differences and we can achieve this through learning.