Duluth NAACP proposes new policy involving police

Published: Nov. 3, 2023 at 6:46 PM CDT
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DULUTH, MN. (Northern News Now) - After years of collaborating, the NAACP is celebrating new efforts of a proposed policy involving police.

To fight for more racial equality, the Duluth chapter of the NAACP is proposing a new Stop Policy to help people of color feel safer in our community.

Jamey Sharp addressed the public on the front steps of city hall Friday about the policy.

“Being black or brown is not a threat to public safety,” said Sharp.

Classie Dudley, the Duluth NAACP President, says the new STOP Policy proposes that Duluth police officers should only make stops when it interferes with public safety.

“Broken tail light, cracked windshield, tabs expired,” said Dudley. “Those kinds of things and if they do pull you over it’s really important they have to identity what risk to public safety it was.”

Dudley says the policy helps to offer transparency to those who claim they are targets of racial and implicit bias.

“Black males were rated the highest in the city of Duluth for getting pulled over and stopped,” says Dudley.

The NAACP chapter has been collaborating with the DPD and the city of Duluth for the past several years to create this policy which they say is a joint effort to eliminate racial bias within policing.

Jamey Sharp says that this policy will benefit both officers and community members.

“This policy is intended to protect Duluthians and ultimately lead to better relationships between the police and communities that have been historically underserved and harmed by the police,” said Sharp.

The Duluth Police Department issued a statement regarding the proposed Stop Policy saying:

“Over the past few years, the City of Duluth has been working with the Duluth Branch of the NAACP and other community groups to create a pedestrian and traffic stop policy. We are committed to continuing to work alongside critical community groups such as the Duluth Citizen Review Board, Racial Bias Audit Team (RBAT), community members, and others. DPD hopes to engage residents and community groups alongside the RBAT in order to finalize this policy.” said Chief Mike Ceynowa.

“We are hopeful that this exercise around policy creation will help continue to build trust between the community and the Duluth Police Department,” said Ceynowa.

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