WASHINGTON — THE ISSUE : Policing in the United States' minority communities has been a flashpoint since the deaths of Michael Brown in Missouri, Tamir Rice in Ohio, Sandra Bland in Texas and others. The increasing number of graphic photos and videos depicting the deaths of black men, women and children at the hands of police officers has sparked unrest around the nation. The perception that law enforcement officers are rarely, if ever, punished for what some consider unethical
Police in turn have complained of being unfairly stereotyped as the enemy by minority communities in which they serve. They have noted that they've increased monitoring of officer
WHERE THEY STAND
Hillary Clinton has been criticized by activists for some of her positions — she once, for example, supported "superpredator" laws that were meant to combat a supposed wave of lawless children. During the Democratic primary she used the phrase "All Lives Matter" — words that some have invoked as pushback against the concerns of Black Lives Matter while others have uttered the phrase without intending to challenge the movement. She's also expressed regret for talking about superpredators in the past. Clinton has offered proposals, such as legislation that would help end racial profiling, provide federal matching funds for more police body cameras and overhaul mandatory minimum sentencing.
Donald Trump has described himself as the "law and order" candidate. He has said some of the videos and photos depicting the deaths of people of
WHY IT MATTERS
The relationship between minority communities and majority-white police forces is turning into one of the most visible civil rights issues of this age.
The U.S. has a long history of using law enforcement to enforce now-illegal actions like slavery and segregation, leading to distrust between law enforcement and some of the communities it serves. Increasing numbers of civilian video and photos showing questionable actions by police officers, sometimes contradicting the official account originally released by law enforcement, have eroded trust between law enforcement and parts of the growing diverse population of this country even more.
In addition to sparking movements like Black Lives Matter, the debate over race and policing has helped usher in more monitoring of police through dash cams, body cameras and increased training for officers. Officials also have started pushing for more statistics about police shootings — fatal and nonfatal — in the United States, so the public can have an idea of the numbers involved instead of having to judge through anecdotal evidence.
No matter which candidate wins the presidency, it is unlikely that there will be an immediate change in the relationship between people of
This story is part of AP's "Why It Matters" series, examining three dozen issues at stake in the presidential election. You can find the series at http://apne.ws/2bBG85a
AP Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y81ovedm5VY
EDITOR'S NOTE _ One in an AP series examining issues at stake in the presidential election and how they affect people