This op ed was published by The Times and Democrat on July 12, 2020. Read the full piece here.
Orangeburg City Council approved a resolution prohibiting police officers from using chokeholds and strangleholds. The resolution, which was initiated and championed by the Orangeburg Department of Public Safety, also updates the department’s use-of-force policy to require officers to intervene if they witness a fellow officer behaving in a way that is inappropriate, illegal or in violation of department policies.
This action follows more than a month of social uprising as people across the country demand an end to police brutality, which, for centuries, has disproportionately targeted Black and brown people.
This initial reform is an important and overdue step toward increased police accountability, but much more needs to be done to remedy the deep harm inflicted on Orangeburg’s Black and brown communities by our criminal justice system.
Let me be clear: The system isn't broken — it was designed to produce the results we see today. Coming to terms with this reality means recognizing that for Black and brown people in our community to truly live freely and without fear, we must invest in people and communities, not police. Read the full piece here.