Fullerton, CA – This week, former Assemblywoman Young Kim, authored an opinion piece in the Orange County Register opposing the defunding of police and offering policies to reform law enforcement and address concerns from communities across the nation.
See highlights from the piece below:
“What happened to George Floyd was wrong and should never happen to any American. No American should be deprived of their right to life, liberty, and happiness in that manner by those sworn to protect us. You cannot see what happened to George Floyd without being shaken to your core. The lack of compassion and care for human life by the officer and those with him, are horrifying and inexcusable.”
“There is no denying that some minority communities have grown to distrust the police. That is a problem and we should work to make sure that our minority communities have strong relationships and trust in law enforcement.
One proposal that has been gaining momentum in the media and in cities across America is defunding or dismantling police departments. This is irresponsible and not the solution to the issues we face. The vast majority of our law enforcement officers heroically serve and protect us. They have one of the most difficult jobs in our society. All communities count on law enforcement when they or their property are in peril. Abolishing or drastically cutting law enforcement budgets will not make our communities safer but rather leave those in need of protection vulnerable.”
“Let us work together as a community to move forward. We must work with our law enforcement to address the issues that have been raised over the years and ensure that we do better.
As we have seen over the years a small number of officers abuse their power and commit acts that are unacceptable from those sworn to protect us. As a community and country, we can take steps to address these issues.
Law enforcement must first make sure any officers who abuse their power are held accountable for their actions. Increasing transparency to ensure that officers who are fired for gross misconduct are not unwittingly hired by a different department and put back on the streets should also be a priority.”
“Law enforcement should also reevaluate their use of force regulations as well as increase training to prevent instances of police brutality and decrease unnecessary use of force. Congress can assist by providing funds for training and prioritize de-escalation practices. Federally, we can also ensure law enforcement grants prioritize those departments that are practicing responsible policing techniques, employing body cameras, and are working to build bonds of trust with their communities.
Let us use this tragedy to move forward and make progress together as a country. That starts with treating each other with respect regardless of our race or occupation and having honest conversations without accusations or judgement. Let us turn our outrage to constructive action that will build up our community and work with our local law enforcement to increase trust and understanding. Change starts with each one of us taking personal responsibility. We can all do our part to be better for our fellow citizens and work together to ensure that the promise of America is available for all.”