Shreveport Mayor works to improve relations between African-Americans and police

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SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) — Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins held a discussion this morning to address issues between citizens of color and law enforcement.

As the civil unrest around the country continues following the death of George Floyd, Mayor Perkins decided to have a special conversation with community leaders on how to ease the tension between the African-American community and police.

On Thursday Perkins had a candid and honest conversation with community leaders about police brutality and racism.

Members of Perkins’ “Commission on Race”, local pastors and members of the local NAACP participated in the discussion.

Perkins said Shreveport police officers are encouraged to have a guardian mindset rather than a military mindset towards citizens.

Perkins also added that the city is working to obtain more body cameras to help reduce the number of excessive force incidents by police.

John Ratcliff, who serves an advisor on the Commission on Race and a facilitator for Dialogue on Race in Shreveport, contributed to today’s conversation.

Ratcliff mentioned three key concepts that will be promoted citywide:

  • Institutional racism – looking at how institutions play a role in racism
  • White privilege – awareness that there is such a thing and what can be done about it
  • It is critical that the white community genuinely listens to the black community and not discount what they say just because they are black

Ratcliff said the city plans to have police officers go through a dialogue on race series.

The city also plans to:

  • Put together a database, a one stop shop of statistics on the disparities between whites and blacks – arrests, convictions, access to food, healthcare and real estate
  • Create another database of an accurate history of race relations in shreveport and caddo parish including reconstruction and continuing up until today

You can click here to watch the discussion on Facebook.

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