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Understanding and Improving African American-Police Relations in the United States

African Americans’ lives in the United States have continued to unfold a beautiful thread of resilience, perseverance, and success. Historically, African Americans have endured numerous first-class cases of abuse, from slavery to the top of the civil rights movement, and their battles with different institutions remain skewed through this system. Knowledge of this historical background is essential in understanding the dynamics between black communities and Police.

This relationship has its origins in the time of slavery, and African Americans’ property thus had no rights. After the abolition of slavery, Jim Crow’s era cemented racial segregation, accomplishing a history. The oppressive institutions of the 1960s civil rights movement aimed at eliminating them remain captured in the collective memory largely held by African Americans (Jardine & Piston, 2023). This historical background provides a theoretical framework for the complicated relationships between members of this community and the police force.

Various modern American communities that happen to be predominantly African-American have a lot of difficulties during interactions with the police force. However, one salient issue cannot go unnoticed as the disproportionate use of force against African Americans that often triggers sad fatalities. Many high-profile cases, including the deaths of Michael Brown, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, brought about protests at the nationwide level that emphasized police reform. The constant occurrence of such events has led to the erosion of trust in the African American community from the Police, and an atmosphere brooding with tension and suspicion abound.

Racial profiling, though denied by those involved in the African-American law enforcers relationship, seems to be embedded there as an intrinsic part of their course. The root of this racial profiling is to identify people according to race or ethnicity, combined with unjustified security stops and searches accompanied by arrests. Racial profiling creates a deep sense of injustice and dehumanization that many African Americans experience (Harris, 2020). Their devastation is not an individual case but rather a collective traumatizing that can only reinforce the precarious police-community relations.

To address these crucial problems and pave the way for better relations, police departments must make comprehensive changes. For instance, allocating resources to community policing programs will lead law enforcers in African-American communities is likely to promote a fruitful relationship between the Police and society. This method focuses on trust-building facilitated through daily engagement and cooperation between officers and local people. Through community policing, departments can target unique needs and issues in specific ways addressing these problems.

Secondly, anti-bias training is essential for dismantling bias within law enforcement. Therefore, it is important for officers to be provided with the tools that help them identify their biases and react against them to maintain an equal stance in policing. By having diversity and inclusion training and cultural competency, officers can learn to serve the communities they patrol not only through empathy but also by reducing discriminatory practices against them.

Thirdly, transparency and accountability mechanisms within police departments should be made tighter. They are setting up semi-autonomous bodies that are primarily tasked with conducting investigations on questionable cases to ensure a well-running process of evaluating alleged unethical vices. In addition, using body-worn cameras and encouraging data transparency can offer some objective proof if there are any debates which will strengthen people’s confidence in law enforcement conduct performance.

In conclusion, the history of African Americans in America provides the background for such complicated relationships between members of a community and the Police. The present challenge, characterized by excessive use of military violence and racial discrimination, requires urgent steps, as well as changes in the system. Through such investments in community policing, anti-bias training and transparency measures, police departments should take a step towards the path of rebuilding trust with African American communities. It will only be through a focused effort centred around addressing historical injustices and implementing genuine reform that the United States can pave the way to any conceivable fair future where all citizens have equitable interactions with the Police.


Harris, D. (2020, January 21). Racial Profiling: Past, Present, and Future?; American Bar Association.

Jardina, A., & Piston, S. (2023). The Politics of Racist Dehumanization in the United States. Annual Review of Political Science, 26(1), 369–388.


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