Governor Cooper’s Task Force for Racial Equity in Criminal Justice held its first public comment session recently. The task force will meet every two weeks and will compile recommendations later this year, ABC11 reports.
“I think it was a great comment session,” Kerwin Pittman told ABC11. “What really rings clear to my mind is one of the steps that we must do is look at the past to move forward.” Pittman is a member of the task force and a community activist.
“George Floyd was not the first victim of excessive force,” Cooper has said. “Too many other people of color have been harassed, harmed, injured or killed. Added together, their lives and their stories have made this spotlight too bright to ignore.”
Cooper has cited numerous metrics to show that Black North Carolinians are often treated unfairly in the criminal justice system.
“These numbers are stark. They tell a story that Black Americans have been living and telling us every day – even when there’s no spotlight,” Cooper has said. “It’s important to recognize these numbers and identify the disparities. But it’s even more important and challenging to do something about it.”
Associate Justice of the NC Supreme Court Anita Earls, Attorney General Josh Stein District Court Judge Brooke Locklear Clark, Fayetteville Mayor Mitch Colvin, Rep. James D. Gailliard, Sen. Mujtaba Mohammed and Rep. Marcia Morey serve on on the task force.
Read the full story on the first public comment meeting and the full list of task force members.