Criminal justice activist Mark Hughes of Burlington is a ‘data guy’. The US Army veteran who specialized in intelligence and cryptography asserts that policing data should drive policing policy, and he’s highlighting new Burlington Police Department stats showing that city cops used force more on blacks than on others. The million dollar question remains unanswered – why?
"Mark Hughes, a member of the police commission and the executive director of racial justice advocacy organization Justice for All, said that the report reflected that the department has a lot of work to do. “It’s unfortunate, but not surprising," he said. “I think we already knew before this report came out that we’ve got some challenges. This is really a systemic racism, a racial justice conversation.”
Hughes said his organization has advocated for use of force data collection from all of the state’s law enforcement agencies. He said there are two pieces of legislation pending in the Legislature that would mandate all agencies collect use of force data and would mandate appropriate use of force, de-escalation and cross-cultural awareness training.
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