Durham People’s Alliance calls on city leadership to back FADE recommendations
Durham People’s Alliance joined a broad coalition of partners at a press conference Thursday in endorsing a slate of policy recommendations and calling on city leadership to begin the work of eliminating racial disparities in enforcement by the Durham Police Department.
Durham People’s Alliance in conjunction with FADE (Fostering Alternative Drug Enforcement), SCSJ (The Southern Coalition for Social Justice), and the Durham Branch of the NAACP calls on Durham city leadership to implement the following steps:
- Implement a mandatory written consent-to-search policy for all vehicle consent searches;
- Make marijuana enforcement the Durham Police Department’s lowest law enforcement priority;
- Implement a policy requiring mandatory periodic review of officer stop data;
- Reform and strengthen the Durham Civilian Police Review Board; and
- Mandate that the Durham Police Department participate in formal racial equity training.
Durham People’s Alliance strongly believes that these policy recommendations will begin to provide important safeguards against the racial disparities documented by the FADE coalition. Durham People’s Alliance believes that these recommendations should be implemented in partnership with stakeholders from across Durham’s criminal justice community in a way that ends these troubling disparities while respecting the difficult work that Durham police officers do in our community every day.
A growing collection of empirical evidence has led People’s Alliance to this decision. Despite constituting 17.4% of Durham’s population, African-American men make up nearly two-thirds of folks searched during traffic stops. In addition, an African-American male in Durham is nearly nine-times as likely to be incarcerated for a drug crime than a white counterpart despite nearly identical rates of use.
Durham People’s Alliance Secretary Charlie Reece said, “We are confident these recommendations will make the Durham Police Department a better partner in the life of our community, and will reaffirm that all of Durham’s citizens are entitled to equal protection of the laws.”
Since its founding in 1978, Durham People’s Alliance has worked to make Durham a safer, fairer and more just place to live.