Studies show police officer demographics have little to no effect on policing killings, citizen complaints, vehicle stops, or arrests.
While all people have some level of implicit bias, no standardized way to measure whether costly implicit bias trainings actually have a direct impact on the actions of law enforcement agents. Moreover, this approach assumes that the issue of racism in policing exists on an individual, rather than institutional level.
Community policing advocates for increased involvement of “community members” in the decision-making process as it pertains to public safety. However, if the decision of who qualifies as part of the “community” falls on the police, this strategy is a non-starter. Oftentimes, community-members most critical of policing as an institution are excluded from these conversations. Furthermore, community policing often requires more funding to cover additional training and officers.
The footage speaks for itself. Body cameras didn’t stop the killing of George Floyd. They didn’t stop the killing of Rayshard Brooks. They didn’t stop Atlanta officers from tasing college students Taniyah Pilgrim and Messiah Young early June 2020. And they’re expensive! APD purchased 1,200 body cameras in 2016 at a cost of $5.6M, adding to the suite of third-party contracts that can make it more difficult to defund the police.
Civilian oversight boards rarely have real decision-making power to hold police accountable. While often requiring additional funding, the existence of community oversight boards offers little more than the illusion of a check on the police.