Local NAACP Leadership Response to Ferguson Decision
By Paul Jones – President
Sadly, it has happened again…. Once again, we have been disappointed by the failure of the Criminal Justice system to return a verdict that affirms the humanity of our young men. As tragic as this decision is, unfortunately, it was not entirely unexpected.
Furthermore, it is clear that what happened in Ferguson is not restricted to Ferguson, but exists at various levels and is an issue in cities across the nation– and yes, right here in Beaumont, Texas, too.
Under-representation in policy-making, hiring practices, governance processes, and in disparities in education lead to unbalanced policies, such as the one that over–protect police officers when they use excessive force and/or kill the citizens that they are sworn to protect.
When you look at the makeup of our Beaumont Police Department, it’s not much different than Ferguson. We have a total of 260 sworn officers–29 black males, 16 Hispanic males, 26 white females, 3 black females 1 Hispanic female and 175 white males. (There is a total of 116 officers who reside in Beaumont and 127 officers who live outside the city).The employment makeup of any employer should resemble the community they serve, especially the City, County and School District. This is an area we can easily improve and it would go a long way in closing several of the disparities we have right here in Beaumont.
Despite our disappointment with the Ferguson decision, the Beaumont NAACP Unit will step forward and do the work that we as an Association has done for 105 years.