Collision or Cooperation: Policing and Race

Thomson_Chapman-Interview-2-690x450Last week the Loudoun Tribune sat down with Loudoun’s top cop Mike Chapman and local NAACP president Phillip Thompson, to talk about policing, traffic stops, Black Lives Matter and more. The following are excerpts of that conversation.

Are relations between the African-American community and local police worse than in the recent past, or are incidents more visible thanks to body cams, cell phone cameras, YouTube and the 24/7 news cycle?

THOMPSON: Nationwide you’ve seen acts of violence against unarmed black men where there have been no consequences. When there are no consequences there is a concern that it’s open season. When you fly in a plane you’re taught to believe it’s safe until you see pictures of a plane crash. Then you start thinking about how safe it is. It’s the same thing with violence against young black men. Seeing it on television makes us feel less safe, and that adds to the perception that there’s a problem between law enforcement and the African-American community.

With everything going on, we haven’t had an act of racial violence here in Loudoun and my goal is to make sure it doesn’t happen.

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