In One Quote, Loretta Lynch Nails What Police Officers Don’t Understand About Their Image

In One Quote, Loretta Lynch Nails What Police Officers Don’t Understand About Their Image
Source: AP
Source: AP

Attorney General Loretta Lynch on Thursday gave black and Latino journalists a glimpse into the conversations she has with local police leaders.

Appearing in Washington at the joint convention of the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, Lynch was asked to dish on her national policing reform efforts.

The attorney general has had to deal with issues of police conduct form day one of her tenure. On April 27, 2015, the day she was sworn into office, the police-involved death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore became the first prominent police reform case to hit her desk at the Department of Justice.

In one quote, Lynch explained why some police officers often don't understand that they have a negative public image, especially in communities of color that complain of being targeted and brutalized:

"[Law enforcement officers] often say to me, we don't accept bad police behavior, 'We get rid of officers who cross the line,'" said Lynch. "And I will say to them, 'That's great ... but the general public does not see that. You need to understand that people do not have that perception of you.'"

One change that could begin to repair police image is an increase of transparency, Lynch went on to say.

"The accountability has to start at the law enforcement level," she said. "We want to have a system whereby we, the community, know what your disciplinary routine is. We want to know what kind of infractions lead to what kind of discipline."

The attorney general's remarks kicked off a plenary discussion about race, education, immigration and law enforcement, which included a panel of journalists and Black Lives Matter activist Deray Mckesson.

Read more:
• Why the Justice Department Takes Forever To Investigate Police Shootings of Black People
• Apparently, No One Killed Freddie Gray
• Why the Movement for Black Lives Is Shutting Down DC and NYC Police Union Headquarters

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Aaron Morrison

Aaron is a Senior Staff Writer for The Movement at Mic. He covers the intersection of race, justice, politics, diversity and civil rights. He has previously written for IB TImes, Miami Herald, The Bergen Record of New Jersey and the Associated Press. Send tips to aaron@mic.com.

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