This guide is written for Commissioners or anyone working with a Human Relations Commission, Human Rights Commission, or any other similar human relations body that has a responsibility in responding to a human relations crisis after a law enforcement critical incident where there have been allegations of excessive use of force, and where the incident may have increased tensions between law enforcement and the communities they police. As a commission or body representing a city government, you have both a responsibility and a unique opportunity to take specific steps to reduce tensions and address community concerns. This guide will highlight some of the most important elements to consider.
- Ask your Chief of Police to brief and inform your commission;
- Assist with initial tone setting;
- Engage community leaders;
- Unite with community leaders and public officials to tone set and ask for patience as investigations run their course;
- Organize with community leaders peaceful avenues to process grief, pain, anger, and frustration that your commission can support;
- Help coordinate and ensure demonstrations between law enforcement and communities does not escalate into further conflict;
- Co-host community dialogues when the time is right;
- Set up a working group or advisory to law enforcement to implement community input;
- Keep subsequent dates on the radar such as trials to ensure everyone is ready for the outcome; and
- Keep people informed.
The California Association of Human Relations Organizations is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to: 1) Establish and support local and regional networks of human relations organizations; 2) Promote communication between local and regional networks of human relations organizations; and 3) Build the capacity of organizations addressing human relations issues through information sharing, training, and technical assistance. For more information visit our website www.calhro.org and follow our social media page https://www.facebook.com/CAHRO2012/