Community Relations Service
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE COMMUNITY RELATIONS SERVICE (CRS) CONCLUDES
MEDIATION OVER BIAS-BASED POLICING ISSUES BETWEEN THE OKLAHOMA CITY
POLICE DEPARTMENT AND COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS
| FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 19, 2003
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Department of Justice Community Relations Service (CRS) announced that a mediation agreement addressing community concerns over perceived bias-based policing and improved police-community relations between the Oklahoma City Office of the City Manager, Oklahoma City Police Department, the Concerned Clergy for Spiritual Renewal (CCSR), and the Oklahoma City Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), will be signed on Thursday, June 19, 2003.
The signing will take place at 1:30 p.m. at City Hall, 200 North Walker, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The press will be invited to attend. For other location details contact Captain Jeffrey Becker, Oklahoma City Police Department, Public Information Officer at 405-297-1241.
The police department, clergy, and community leaders used CRS' mediation process to overcome barriers and emotions that resulted from a videotaped police incident to find that they could form a partnership to improve police-community relations," said CRS Director Sharee M. Freeman.
At the request of the Oklahoma City Police Department, CCSR, and the NAACP, CRS convened community mediation sessions on December 5, 2002, and February 20, April 3, and May 1, 2003 to improve relations between communities of color and members of law enforcement in Oklahoma City in the aftermath of a videotaped police use of force incident (Pete case) that received widespread media attention and caused community racial tensions.
Through these mediation sessions, the Oklahoma City Police Department, CCSR, and NAACP have agreed to seven measures: developing a police community advisory committee; conducting an administrative investigation to determine any violation of the Police Department's policy and procedures in the Pete case; reviewing current policies and procedures related to use of force; reviewing training issues related to the use of force, control and defense tactics provided to police officers; reviewing training issues regarding alternatives for officers when confronted with circumstances similar to those surrounding the Pete case; reviewing training issues related to sensitivity and cultural diversity training; and broadening the police chaplain program through cooperation with the CCSR and ministerial community.
The U.S. Department of Justice, Community Relations Service, offers conflict resolution and mediation services to communities affected by issues of race, ethnicity and national origin. More information about the U.S. Department of Justice, Community Relations Service can be found at: www.usdoj.gov/crs.