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Urban League Affiliate Leaders Discuss Police and Community Relations with State Attorneys General Civil Rights Committee Co-Chairs

At the invitation of the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), the National Urban League and four Urban League affiliate Presidents met with the Co-Chairs of NAAG’s Civil Rights Committee in a closed door session on February 24, 2016. The meeting was hosted at the offices of the National Urban League Washington Bureau, and moderated by its Executive Director, Don Cravins.  The NAAG Civil Rights Committee is Co-Chaired by Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes (R), and Vermont Attorney General William H. Sorrell (D). Urban League affiliate leaders were: J. Howard Henderson, Greater Baltimore Urban League; George Lambert, Jr., Greater Washington Urban League; Michael P. McMillan, Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis; and Edith White, Urban League of Hampton Roads in Norfolk, VA.

The objective of the meeting was to provide a forum for National Urban League leadership and the four affiliate leaders to have an open and free-flowing discussion with the Attorney General leadership of the Civil Rights Committee on improving community and police relationships, particularly the relationship involving communities of color.  The discussion was informal in nature and allowed for an honest perspective on how to identify, address, or deal with key issues such as: police relationships in the community; feelings of distrust within the community with respect to the police and policing; identifying the issues and circumstances that give rise to historically and currently strained relationships between these two groups; and suggesting recommendations on how to resolve these issues.

The meeting concluded with a commitment to establishing an ongoing collaboration between the National Association of Attorneys General and the Urban League Movement and to identify opportunities for further dialogue on how to improve the relationship between communities of color and law enforcement.

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