In recent Wall Street Journal article, by Mark Peters and Ben Kesling, the authors emphasize that racial tensions in Ferguson Missouri have existed for decades. Organizations that have attempted to reduce racial tension include People Reaching Out for Unity and Diversity and the North County Churches Uniting for Racial Harmony and Justice. While these organizations addressed some racial concerns, it is evident that the Michael Brown shooting has reignited feelings of racial tension between community residents and the Ferguson police force. Ferguson chief of police, Thomas Jackson, has stated that he is working to recruit more minority officers in response to racial tension that exist between the police department and the Ferguson community.
The Michael Brown shooting has expanded the trust gap between the police department and the community. Community members have responded by expressing their discontent with the Michael Brown shooting via looting, destruction of property, and civil demonstrations. The police department have had to increase their efforts to protect the community. Businesses are now boarded up and no longer serving the community. School have closed their doors. Some citizens in the community fear for their lives and personal property. The bottom line is that the Michael Brown shooting has an adverse impact of the schools, community, and local police.
However, Ferguson Police Chief, Thomas Jackson, has an opportunity to take on a leadership role in reducing racial tension that resulted from the Michael Brown shooting. It is historically evident that hiring police officers of the community demographics does not reduce tension between the community and the local police force. Instead of hiring more police officers that represent the demographics of the community he can implement an initiative that promotes positive racial relationships between his police force and the community.
Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D.
PO Box 1668 Blackwood, NJ 08012
Published Book – Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships
“The model that you use to analyze teacher-student relationships is a good one for most school districts”.
~ Joe Vas ~ Perth Amboy Mayor
“Dr. Campbell’s Cultural Relationship Training Program is comprehensive, informative, and should be required training for all schools”
~ Darrell Pope ~ Hutchinson Kansas NAACP President