Policing in America has always been the entry into the criminal justice system. A system which has clear links to slavery, Black Codes and Jim Crows laws, now looks like police brutality and mass incarceration. For some, policing in America has never been synonymous to public safety—the bold idea that all people should feel safe in their homes and communities.
The National Urban League produced its 21 Pillars for Redefining Public Safety and Restoring Community Trust ("21 Pillars") to offer a framework for advocacy that redefines public safety and restores community trust – paving a way beyond the status quo. Our forward-thinking plan is emphasized by five key themes designed to promote the protection and preservation of life, dignity, and trust, while also building safer communities.
The five themes are:
For too long communities around the nation, particularly Black communities, have had their lives, safety, and freedom threatened by discriminatory and violent policing. Our communities deserve to feel safe in their homes, in their cars, and on their streets, including being safe from police violence. The 21 Pillars presents a look at what is possible – a plan forward. Public safety must be re-envisioned.