Law Enforcement Executives Summit - Police Legitimacy and Procedural Justice
Each year, the U.S. Attorney hosts a number of fora to ensure the district's federal, state, and local law enforcement executives have an opportunity to meet. The executives use the opportunty to strategize about district law enforcement issues and to have input on setting law enforcement priorities for the district. Consistent with that effort, on November 16, 2016, U.S. Attorney Brian J. Stretch chaired a Law Enforcement Executives’ Leadership Summit entitled "Police Legitimacy and Procedural Justice."
The conference focused on seven key topic areas: (1) use of force; (2) officer involved shootings; (3) implicit bias, procedural justice and police legitimacy; (4) re-building community relations and maintaining the public’s trust; (5) evolving policies on engaging with community members with mental health challenges; (6) trauma-informed policing and understanding community trauma; and (7) the media’s role in framing a narrative.
After the United States Attorney provided opening remarks, the Director of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office), Ronald L. Davis, provided an update on the 21st Century Policing Task Force. The update focused on two areas. First, Director Davis discussed the U.S. DOJ’s efforts to identify when and where changes to use of force policies where necessary. Director Davis then explored the various intersections between police legitimacy, procedural justice, and building community trust.
Thereafter, a panel, moderated by Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley discussed the national initiative for building community trust and justice, addressing implicit bias, reinforcing police legitimacy and procedural justice, and creating and maintaining a diverse and inclusive police force. On the panel were the Director of the National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice, David M. Kennedy; University of California Berkeley Professor Jack Glaser; Stockton Police Department Captain Scott Meadors; California Department of Justice Associate Attorney General Venus Johnson; and U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Senior Counsel Jonathan Smith.
An additional panel focused on special issues that may threaten to obscure law enforcment's understanding of certain communities they serve in the Northern District of California. The panel discussion, moderated by San Francisco Police Commission President Suzy Loftus, centered around community trauma and trauma-informed policing. The distiguished panel included University of California San Francisco’s Dr. Howard Pinderhughes; Norfolk Police Department Sergeant Chris Scallon, and Samara Marion of the San Francisco Office of Citizen Complaints.
The conference also included a discussion of the media's role in shaping the narrative. Leading the discussion was Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen. District Attorney Rosen presented topics to the panel that included reporters Holly Quan (KCBS News), Tara Moriarty (KTVU Channel 2), Vivian Ho (San Francisco Chronicle), and Alex Emslie (KQED Radio), as well as Assistant News Director Amber Eikel (KTVU Channel 2), and San Francisco Chronicle Columnist Chuck Nevius.
Next, the conference attendees explored issues regarding local perspectives on transparency and fairness in the 21st century. Chuck Wexler, Executive Director of Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), led the discussion that focused on ensuring justice, fairness, and transparency in law enforcement-- and particularly, in the context of addressing officer-Involved shootings, use of force, and allegations of police misconduct. Contributing to the discussion were Oakland Police Department Assistant Chief David Downing, San Francisco Police Department Interim Police Chief Toney Chaplin, San Jose Police Chief Edgardo Garcia, Bay Area Rapid Transit Police Chief Kenton Rainey, Richmond Police Department Police Chief Allwyn Brown, and California Department of Justice Special Assistant Attorney General Justin Ehrlich.
Pastor Ben McBride, Founder of Empower Initiative, delivered an inspiring and critially important message about engaging the community by building trust and maintaining peace.