Originally published by the National Center for Community Policing – Michigan State University
By Carl Taylor
As noted, the relationship between minority groups and police in the United States has historically been strained. If we look at the past, we can see that there is no warm tradition of community cooperation between the African- American community and law enforcement. Some cities have a deep and bitter history of bias and prejudice interwoven in their past relationships. Racial polarization in our major cities has often cast the police as the oppressors, and some cities have an unfortunate tradition of hiring outsiders and few minorities, which has fueled further resentment toward the police. The feeling in many communities today is that the system pits law enforcement as an occupying army versus the neighborhood. If there is any good news in the current situation, it is that the history of this strain has found the 1990’s ripe for change, and community Policing is a pivotal opportunity to bring the two sides together.