Race, Color, and National Origin

Race, Color, and National Origin

CRS Law Enforcement

Title X of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 authorized CRS to support communities across the United States and its territories as they respond to tension and conflict based on actual or perceived race, color, and/or national origin. CRS supports communities who are facing these types of issues in various ways; below are a few examples of the type of support CRS can provide:

  • Facilitating discussions between law enforcement agencies, community leaders, and all levels of government about perceived inequities and allegations of racially biased policing against community members, and providing assistance as these groups work to develop policies and procedures for alleviating community tensions
  • Providing trainings and facilitating dialogues among administrators, staff, educators, and students to discuss perceived tensions, and alleged incidents of bullying and hate crimes based on race, color, and/or national origin in schools and developing mechanisms to prevent tension and violence
  • Assisting law enforcement professionals, community representatives, city officials, and demonstration organizers ensure safe and lawful assembly when rallies and demonstrations are planned in response to tension based on race, color, and/or national origin

Below are some recent examples of CRS's work assisting communities experiencing tension and conflict based on actual or perceived race, color, and/or national origin. Additional case summaries may be found within CRS’s Annual Reports, located on the CRS Resource Center webpage.

Case Highlights

Providing facilitated dialogue and consultation services to the community and law enforcement in Memphis, Tennessee

In March 2017, the Memphis Police Department (MPD) requested facilitated dialogue and consultation services from CRS following reports that community groups planned to stage protests amid racial tensions in the community and nationally.

The protestors sought to bring public attention to social injustices in the community, and the possibility of a larger protest was anticipated. In 2016, Memphis experienced a massive protest that resulted in the shutdown of the Hernando de Soto Bridge on Interstate 40. With tensions high in the region, MPD Police Director Michael Rallings requested CRS’s assistance in ensuring that the MPD had a productive dialogue with the community.

CRS provided technical assistance to the MPD as it prepared to host a public forum to address policing concerns expressed by African American community members. The event was designed to give the community an opportunity to provide input on solutions and strategies when interacting with police officers.

The forum took place in July 2017 and approximately 120 community members attended. CRS facilitated a dialogue between the community and the forum panelists, which included members of the MPD, state government, faith-based groups, civil rights organizations, and community youth.

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