Examining Relations Between Police and Community in Newark

Steve Adubato goes on-location to the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice’s "Moving New Jersey’s Communities Forward: A Critical Conversation about Race and Policing" forum and speaks with LaShawn Warren, Vice President & General Counsel for NJISJ, and Junius Williams, Chair of Newark Celebration 350 and Director of the Abbot Leadership Institute at Rutgers-Newark, about what the police and community can do to resolve conflicts between the police and minorities in the brick city.

#2586 11/19/2016






"We're talking to one of the organizers of this very important conversation about police minority relations. She is Lashawn Warren, vice president and general counsel, New jersey Institute For Social Justice. We're here at NJPAC, a critical conversation about race and policing. Why now? Why so critical? Well, there have been a number of important developments in the city of Newark, including the consent decree that was entered into with the city and the United States Department of Justice, and so with these developments, we thought that it was a critical time to bring the community together to hear about these developments and give them an opportunity to weigh in. Yeah. We were talking to your director, Ryan Haygood, about some of the... there are ten specific recommendations to improve things that the institute has put out. Just share a couple with us, beyond the body cameras for police officers. What are some of the other very concrete recommendations that are being put forth? Because we'll all be talking solutions as well as, listen, there will be some honest, difficult, emotional conversation tonight... but some recommendations? So one of the things that we are urging people to do is to join our New Jersey's Communities Forward Initiative, and basically that initiative bring the community and police together and tries to foster better relationships. And in doing that, it creates a safe space for people to have candid, concrete conversations, and to actually have recommendations for how we can improve community police relations. So I want to be clear, this is... this conversation tonight at NJPAC is critical, but it is one of many? It is one of many. One of the things that the consent decree requires is for the monitor to actually do a number of surveys to survey perceptions of the community and how they feel about policing in the community, and to make sure that we are including their recommendations in the reform efforts. Let me ask you this. We are in Newark tonight, but there's Camden, there's Jersey City, there is Paterson, there is Trenton, we're talking about cities and other communities where things have happened and could happen. Why is Newark's experience so important across this state and nation? Well, I think Newark has a very important and interesting history beginning with the Rebellion of 1967 which actually emanated from... John Smith, the cab driver? Right. It emanated from a police community connection and dispute. I'm sorry, to be clear, I should not have just said that in that way..."