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Jeffries named to Congressional task force on police-race relations

July 14, 2016 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries says relations between the police and communities of color “havereached a breaking point.” Photo courtesy of Jeffries’s office
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A newly created congressional task force looking into the fractured relationship between law enforcement and communities of color across the nation will have a Brooklyn representative.U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries has been tapped to serve on the panel to help come up with solutions for the crisis.

Jeffries (D-Bed-Stuy-Canarsie-Coney Island), a member of the Congressional Black Caucus leadership, has been selected to serve on a House task force on police-community relations.

The bipartisan task force will examine police accountability, aggression towards law enforcement, and public safety concerns. As part of its work, the panel will hold a series of roundtable discussions to talk about the issues fueling excessive force by cops as well as attacks against police officers.

“The relationship between the police and communities of color throughout America have

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reached a breaking point and are in desperate need of repair,” Jeffries said in a statement. “I look forward to working in a bipartisan manner with the distinguished members of this group to find a solution to this problem. The formation of this group is a strong step in the right direction.”

The announcement of Jeffries’s participation in the task force came in the wake of a triple set of tragedies that shocked and saddened the nation; deadly violence that saw two African-American men being fatally shot by cops and the assassinations of five white police officers.

Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old African-American man, was shot to death by police in Baton Rouge on July 5. The following day, Philando Castile, 32, was fatally shot by a cop while sitting in his car in Falcon Heights, Minnesota. On July 7, five police officers in Dallas were assassinated by lone gunman Micah Johnson during a protest march against the Sterling and Castile shootings.

The task force members include: U.S. reps Keith Ellison (D-Minnesota), Cedric Richmond (D-Louisiana), Trey Gowdy (R-South Carolina), Robin Kelly (D-Illinois, Susan Brooks (R-Indiana),G.K. Butterfield (D-North Carolina), Dave Reichert (R-Washington), Doug Collins (R-Georgia)and Will Hurd (R-Texas).

The panel invited the Rev. Dr. De Forest B. Suares, Jr., senior pastor of the First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens in Somerset, New Jersey, and Deborah A. Ramirez, executive director of the organization Partnering for Prevention and Community Safety Initiative, to participate in its first roundtable discussion.


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