"This is not isolated just to some specific parts of our country."
Speaking to the media yesterday afternoon, Seattle Seahawks' wide receiver Doug Baldwin expressed concerns about law enforcement in our country and demanded that all 50 state attorney generals call for a review of their policies and training policies for police and law enforcement.
"This is not an isolated conversation," he said. "This is not isolated just to some specific parts of our country. We see that now. And the advancement of technology has proved that, from the video of Rodney King in 1991 to numerous incidents that we now have visual evidence of today. Now, this is not an indictment of our law enforcement agencies. I just want that to be clear. We know that there’s a select few—a very minute few—of law enforcement who are not abiding by those laws and policies. However, we also know that there are laws and policies that are in place that are not correcting the issue that we have in our society right now."
"As an American, a black male, in this country," he said, "I’m suggesting, calling—I’m demanding that all 50 state attorney generals call for a review of their policies and training policies for police and law enforcement to eliminate militaristic cultures while putting a higher emphasis on deescalation tactics and crisis management measures."
Baldwin's statement came just after Tulsa police officer Betty Shelby was charged with first-degree manslaughter for fatally shooting 40-year old Terence Crutcher last Thursday. While Baldwin's message was certainly triggered by those events, he also noted that his father is a police officer and has told him first-hand about the disparity across the country when it comes to police training.
"My father’s a police officer," he said, "and he’s told me numerous times about his training and how they’ve gone through what they call verbal judo, which is essentially them trying to deescalate the situation. From what I understand, and from what he’s told me and his experience in homeland security, is that that method of training is not consistent throughout the entirety of the United States. And that’s an issue."
Washington State Attorney General, Bob Ferguson reached out to Baldwin after hearing of his press conference and the two appear to be on the cusp of a sit-down to discuss his concerns.
Baldwin also transcribed his speech and posted it via twitter, which you can check out in full below.
.@DougBaldwinJr Watched your press conference today with interest. I’ll be reaching out soon to see if you'd like to sit down and chat. -BF— WA Attorney General (@AGOWA) September 22, 2016
I’d love to. I like what our state is doing with changing the culture! We will be in touch! https://t.co/5e8OKpppYI— Doug Baldwin Jr (@DougBaldwinJr) September 22, 2016