A black career politician with a penchant for jumping parties and a healthy history of racial activism, says he has potential solutions to all the strife between Black Lives Matter, police and the two political parties.
Former Louisiana state Sen. Elbert Guillory, a current candidate for Congress in Louisiana’s Fourth Congressional District, talked to The Daily Caller News Foundation about the recent riots in Charlotte over the latest police shooting of a black man and how the issue of police brutality can be solved in a more civil way.
Multiple nights of violence and looting rocked Charlotte, leaving behind destroyed businesses in the days following black officer Brentley Vinson’s shooting of Keith Lamont Scott, an armed black man. (RELATED:Police Chief: Black Man Told Multiple Times To Drop Gun Before Getting Shot)
Guillory switched from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party in June of 2013. He cited the GOP’s values of personal liberty, capitalism and free-market principles as reasons for his change in party allegiance. Previously, Guillory switched from the GOP to the Democratic Party in 2007.
The Democratic Party accused Guillory of “a craven display of political opportunism” and called for his resignation.
Guillory suggests that Congress and the president create a presidential commission where everyone involved in the issue — police officers, activists, Democrats, Republicans, people who claim to have been wrongly arrested — come to together to discuss standards of training for every officer in the nation.
Guillory isn’t inexperienced in these matters. He practiced law for forty years, comes from a law enforcement family and sponsored a bill pushing for prison inmate rehabilitation.
Police chiefs and police officers should sit down to create standards on how and when deadly force should be used, Guillory suggests. Also, police chiefs must be urged to get rid of those police officers who are not prepared enough to be in the police force, Guillory says.
Black schools and black churches need to teach the younger generation how to respond when a police officer stops them, Guillory proposes. They must be taught to obey police officers during police stops and if the police officer is wrong, the place to fight that injustice is from the courtroom, Guillory stressed.
“You cannot challenge from the graveyard but you can challenge from the courtyard. We must teach our children how to respond and how to stay alive,” Guillory cautioned.
For Guillory, the riots are painful to watch. The looting and destruction done by rioters who are protesting against police brutality ruins the message they are trying to convey.
“Certainly we have a problem with police overreaction. It’s not in every case, but it’s in enough cases for us to be concerned. There are ways for us to respond to that problem. But rioting and looting does not resolve any problem. It does not elevate any issue. It demeans the just issue that is being presented to the public,” Guillory told The DCNF.
Guillory said he is unsure if the Charlotte shooting is “police overreaction,” as he prefers to wait until he has all the information available before coming to a conclusion.
The Black Lives Matter movement, most known for its protests against police brutality, does have some inconsistencies, Guillory pointed out.
According to Guillory, Black Lives Matter’s calls for violence against the police are not only unlawful, but also harm the black community greatly. While the black community needs justice in policing, they also need the police presence in the community.
“In the black community, though we are 13 percent of the population, we are about half of the murder victims in this country. Blacks are also about half of the perpetrators of those murders,” Guillory stated.
As of July 2015, blacks made up 13.3 percent of the United States’ population, according to the United States Census Bureau. The FBI homicide statistics revealed that in 2013, 2,491 blacks were the victims of murder. Ninety percent of those killed were killed by other blacks.
The lack of policing in the black community would be harmful in the long run, Guillory said.
Black Lives Matter also needs to pay attention to black-on-black crime and abortion, issues that kill far more black people than police shootings, Guillory said.
Black women had an almost five times higher rate of abortion than white women, according to a 2008 study by the Guttmacher Institute. A 2014 study revealed that black women represented 28 percent of abortion patients in the U.S.
“Someone needs to address those black babies’ lives. I don’t hear those two very large numbers of deaths being addressed by Black Lives Matter. I think it would lead to more credibility if they addressed those issues,” Guillory told The DCNF.
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