On this episode, Chuck speaks with Maya Wiley who has spent her professional life at the intersection of law, education and policy.
She served in both city and federal government, at the U.S. Department of Justice, and most recently at the top of the Civilian Complaint Review Board – the independent oversight agency of the nation’s largest police force, the New York City Police Department. This gave Maya a unique perspective on policing in America – particularly, what we as a nation can do to address police misconduct, improve policing, and build bridges between police and the communities they are sworn to serve.
On the possibility of real change within law enforcement:
“The mobilization of public will happen and it matters. The education of public happens and it matters. There are police officers who came forward and took a knee and kneeled down when communities asked them if they would take a knee, which was really a symbol of I recognize that something has to change. It was a powerful symbolic moment, is symbolism enough? No. And one of the things we’ve started to see, and we need to see more, and I hope to push for more, is for leaders to say what it is that they will demand of the police department as an institution, in the way of immediate change, because several of the things you and I have talked about are things that either can be grown, that exist and can be grown and taken to a greater scale, they are things that can be done with will by strong leaders who are principled, and who understand their power as leaders to make some of these changes happen. And when people feel change, they will have more hope that change is possible.”
On the culture of ‘silence’ in the police force:
“When police officers are not protected by their superiors when they come out and tell the truth about misconduct of other officers, that creates a culture of silence that makes them accessories. And unfortunately, that’s what’s rewarded in the context of a job where you need people to get your back. And that is one of the things we have to change.”