Yesterday, senior officials from the White House and the Department of Justice met with Black leaders of Civil Rights organizations to discuss police reform. The meeting is part of broader outreach and engagement by the Biden-Harris Administration with members of the civil rights and law enforcement communities, members of Congress, and victims’ families to define a path forward on meaningful police reform, including through executive actions.
Officials from the Biden-Harris Administration taking part in the meeting included Domestic Policy Advisor Susan Rice, Senior Advisor Cedric Richmond, White House Counsel Dana Remus, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco, and Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta. The administration officials stressed the President’s belief that this moment demands action to hold accountable law enforcement officers who violate their oaths, and that we cannot be deterred by individuals who are trying to block progress.
The civil rights leaders underscored the urgency for action given the lack of progress in Congress, and proposed a number of ideas for advancing meaningful reforms through executive actions, including to advance accountability for police misconduct, and to improve data collection about interactions between police and individuals. The leaders stressed to Administration officials that federal law enforcement should serve as a model and that steps should be taken to encourage reforms at the state and local levels.
The meeting participants included:
- Melanie Campbell, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation
- Joi Chaney, National Urban League
- Alicia Garza, Black Futures Lab
- Wade Henderson, Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights
- Damon Hewitt, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
- Sherrilyn Ifill, NAACP Legal Defense Fund
- Derrick Johnson, NAACP
- Janice Mathis, National Council of Negro Women
- Jesselyn McCurdy, Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights
- Rashad Robinson, Color of Change
- Rev. Al Sharpton, National Action Network