NAACP chapters host state’s attorneys for virtual panel
MARYLAND – Thursday night NAACP chapters from across the eastern shore hosted their state’s attorneys in a virtual panel. The attorneys talked about their relationship with law enforcement – and their communities. “We’re not just talking the good talk. We actually care about these things. We want to learn. We want to be reflective of our community in every way. That’s not just the way we look, but it’s the way we think about things with respect,” said State’s Attorney for Dorchester County William Jones.
State’s Attorney for Worcester County Kris Heiser says her office is doing what they can to make sure that the public is served fairly. “We want to be out there in communities so that you know us, so that you can trust us, so that you can say ‘hey i’ve had a conversation with her and she seems like a pretty reasonable girl,” said Heiser.
Wicomico County State’s Attorney Jamie Dykes says her office is also working on that. But that at the same time – they’re advocating for police officers to be trained in diversity and implicit bias. “Diversity training is very much needed. We are in the best position to serve our communities when we understand everyone and understand that our life experiences and perspective are different,” said Dykes.
State’s Attorney for Somerset County Wess Garner says that part of the job is to be a link between police officers and the public. He says they must also help law enforcement to understand their communities’ needs. “We don’t have control over the police officers, but it is good to have that relationship with the officers so you can inform and allow people to have educated information and be able to make an educated decision,” said Garner.
Heiser says they also must make sure that people being brought to court have fair treatment. “As far as different treatment of people – as I said from the beginning – that’s absolutely my number one priority is to be consistent and fair across the board to everyone,” said Heiser.
After the meeting, President of the Worcester County NAACP Ivory Smith told 47 ABC that he though tonight went very well. He says the NAACP needs to keep dialogue going with the state’s attorneys about the decisions that they make dealing with the African American community and the judicial system.