LACCD to host panel on police reform

Keynote speaker Rashawn Ray and facilitator A. James McKeever will discuss race-related issues to the district.

By Cassandra Nava, News Editor

On Thursday, Nov. 12, LACCD will host a virtual panel in order to shed light on racial issues that affect students in regards to police brutality and violence.

“A lot of working class students in our community college district have often had negative interactions with police officers, so we want to talk about where those negative interactions with police officers come from,” said Pierce College Student Advisor for Sociology James McKeever, who will serve as the meeting facilitator at the panel.

The event titled Pursuing Racial Equity in Police Reform will start at 2 p.m. and will feature University of Maryland professor of sociology Rashawn Ray as the keynote speaker. According to the district’s flyer, the discussions in the event will focus on potential solutions to racial disparities in policing, such as defunding the police.

Ray specializes in research on racial and social inequality, with a specific focus on police relationships with civilians. According to his website, he works on studying how inequality may be reduced through activism. Ray has published over 50 books, articles and nearly 20 op-eds on this topic.

This panel comes at a pivotal moment in American history, with protests across the world calling for racial equality. To add to the national debate that questions the necessity of police, this event will touch on the idea of distributing police funds to communities instead. The Black Lives Matter movement has brought this idea to the front lines, to call for an end to systemic racism that the police department actively perpetuates.

“George Floyd’s violent death was a breaking point — an all too familiar reminder that, for Black people, law enforcement doesn’t protect or save our lives,” according to the official Black Lives Matter website. “They often threaten and take them.”

Students who are interested in attending this virtual event can register using this link. People with disabilities who may need accommodations are urged to contact Sui Liao at (213) 841-0023 or as soon as possible.