Brenda Richardson stood before 31 young men and women in their final weeks of training to become D.C. police officers. They were on a street corner in Richardson’s neighborhood in Southeast Washington, where crews from rival streets trade gunfire.
Nearly half the recruits are White, and all but five are from cities and towns outside D.C. Many had never before stepped foot in Woodland Terrace, where Richardson has lived for a quarter century and raised a son.
For a city whose residents long to be policed by their own, many of these recruits — from states that include Florida, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Indiana and North Carolina — are entering the force at a time of tension and upheaval in policing and as strangers to the streets they will soon protect.
“People have these conceptions that Black people are bad,” she said as she led the recruits through neighborhoods, passing by apartment blocks and into the warrens of public housing to talk with residents. “They have this attitude that Black men in particular are bad. . . . We want you to see that we’re just people.”
Source: The Washington Post