NewsChannel 10 continues to try to better understand racism and police relations in Amarillo and how others see it. In this week's Perspective, NewsChannel 10's General Manager Brent McClure concludes our in depth series on racism in Amarillo with a recap of our last community meeting held with local police officers.
NewsChannel 10 recently invited our police agencies to a meeting to discuss the findings from our racism survey and our group discussions. We presented the data that has been shared over the last six weeks and then asked for their input.
In regards to racism in Amarillo, here are a few comments:
- "Yes it exists, but I don't see it close to me."
- "We also see groups that will not stand for it."
- "We see radicals in town and people that discriminate based on color."
We quickly dove into topics related to police behavior and how the national scene has changed their approach and psychology. Here are a few quotes:
- "I never see racism accepted institutionally in our department."
- "I have seen individuals make wrong decisions."
- "There is a new fear within our staff, due to the ambushes and traffic stop behaviors we see nationally."
- "There is good and bad everywhere."
- "Texas Leads the nation in Law enforcement officer deaths, we have to be on high alert."
- "Policing is changing, with doubling up on people per call, new body armor, body cameras and a new level of scrutiny of every action."
Then we discussed what we are doing to be proactive in Amarillo and what needs to happen:
- "I see honest efforts."
- "We go out of our way to make it not race-related."
- "We must be open and respectful."
- "We are building a new trust with each other."
In summary there are many things being done on all sides to build trust, relationships and open communication.
As I said before, this is a complicated topic and it will take us all extending our best efforts to resolve it. What are you seeing and what are you doing to make our community better? We want your thoughts, send me an email and tell me where the holes are and also let's showcase the great things that are happening.