Policing the police: is a new deputy chief a "bureaucratic band-aid"?

Feb 24, 2021

Credit Fred Moon/Unsplash

This week, the Duluth City Council unanimously approved adding a third deputy police chief tasked with, among other things, a focus on police accountability.

But Jamey Sharp, the founder of what he calls the "grassroots data group" LEANDuluth, says whether it's 50 new deputy chiefs or one new chief, it doesn't matter if they're not willing to look outside the police department itself for answers.

He's particularly concerned about "use of force" incidents from 2019, which showed police employing force with Black Duluthians 19 times more often than with white residents, and ten times more often with Native Americans.

But Sharp says he was most impressed with the people who shared their personal stories of troubling interactions with the police, interactions that can dehumanize, traumatize or even end in death.  Community members, says Sharp, wanted to know the new deputy chief would "understand the gravity of what we're talking about."

More information about LEANDuluth, their narrative board project, and how to contact them is available here.