Ryan Haygood NJISJ Working To Improve Police Community Relations
As a part of our "Newark at a Crossroads" series, taped at NJIT, Steve Adubato talks to Ryan Haygood, President & CEO of the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, about police and community relations. In addition Haygood explains what the institution is doing to make the Garden State an example when it comes to employment reform and civic engagement.
"Back by popular demand, we have him. He is Ryan Haygood, president and CEO, New Jersey Institute For Social Justice. How you doing buddy? It's good to be here, thanks for having me Steve. A lot of new things happening, talk about this initiative called New Jersey, or New Jersey Communities Forward. What is it? Sure. So New Jersey Communities Forward is an initiative of the Institute For Social Justice, that really was inspired by what we've seen happen across the country with respect to the police and law enforcement relationship over the last couple of years. Some of these heartbreaking shootings we've seen of unarmed African Americans in particular, and it really was something that we saw as a cautionary tale for us here in New Jersey. We looked at what we saw happening in Baltimore, Ferguson more recently, and Baton Rouge, and in Minnesota, and we thought about how we could use what's happening in other cities as a cautionary tale for us here in New Jersey. So New Jersey Communities Forward concretely is an initiative where we have very difficult conversations in a safe space with law enforcement, high level law enforcement, and community leaders, about how we re-imagine the relationship between law enforcement and communities. Ryan, let me ask you this, because you and I, right before we got on the air, I said to you that we've been thinking about doing the same sort of thing, only from a broadcast perspective. The events, and again, we;re doing this program late in the Summer of 2016, and we pray that what we talk about is not dated, and there's nothing else that happens, but who knows? Dallas? Yeah. How does that change the police being targeted by some who want to do them harm? How does it change the conversation? Right. And killed, in some cases. Absolutely. I think, to your point, Steve, what we've seen happen across the country in Dallas, most recently, with respect to the awful killings of law enforcement officials who were doing their job there... And protecting those protesters? Sure, I think that what that provides for us is a meaningful opportunity to use what we're seeing as a cautionary tale for how we can build something here, the reality is, in many communities across the country we can't really reference a Golden Era where the relationship between law enforcement and communities were solid. So as you know, this is the 49th anniversary year of the Newark Rebellion. That's right. Which was sparked by... An event... law enforcement abuse... John Smith... of John Smith who was a cab driver, right..."