Gianno Caldwell: Hold police to highest standards — and provide resources they need to change

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More than 10 years ago, when I was working for the federal government in Chicago, I noticed a police car following closely behind me on the road. I made sure I was at, or below, the speed limit while the cops trailed me for another two miles before pulling me over.

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At my window, they asked whose car I was driving, and when I told them it was mine, they questioned how I could afford such a car. I was cuffed and placed in the backseat of the squad car while they ran my license and searched my car without permission. Eventually, they allowed me to leave.

It was a horrible incident, but one I was prepared for — black parents often tell their children to be ready for these kinds of interactions — and I feel blessed I made it out alive.

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In the weeks since George Floyd’s murder, protests have occurred in all 50 states, as well as across the world. While some protesters, like Antifa, certainly have other agendas, please make no mistake about it: The core of these protests is to demand genuine change in how our police interact with black Americans.

Some of my friends on the right see this only as an attack on law enforcement and sanction of lawlessness, and I can assure you this is not the case.

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As a black conservative, one who believes in the essential ideals of law, self-determination and justice, such reform is urgently needed. And the many voices now insisting for legitimate change to a system that has historically targeted and abused African-Americans is warranted. Demanding our law enforcement be held to a high standard is not an attack or a zero-sum game; it’s the opportunity for real and positive transformation.

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