Laurie Robinson, professor of criminology at George Mason University, and Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey flank President Barack Obama as he talks about a report of law-enforcement recommendations during a press conference at the White House March 2, 2015.

In December, President Barack Obama commissioned a task force to come up with recommendations on how to deal with recent police killings of unarmed black men and the distrust that working-class communities feel toward law enforcement as a result. On Monday, the President’s Task Force on 21st-Century Policing issued its proposals (pdf), including that “there should be independent investigations of deadly police shootings,” a USA Today report explains.

“In order to restore and maintain trust, this independence is crucial,” the report said.


On Monday, Obama said that White House officials will dig deeper into the report and decide how to get the ball rolling on some of the recommended initiatives.

The report advises that police departments foster better relationships with community institutions like schools and use technological tools, like having officers wear body cameras, to help curb racial profiling.

Police forces should be more diverse, the report suggests, and have more civilian oversight. Police officers should also have better training, specifically on how to de-escalate tense situations.


The task force mentioned how the police are often considered to be the culprits for things they actually have no control over, such as sentencing disparities between black and white offenders committing similar crimes.

Obama appointed the task force after the national uproar last year over the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and the fatal choke hold that was applied to Eric Garner in New York City. Both unarmed men were killed by police officers.

On Monday at the White House, the president said the report “offers pragmatic, common-sense ideas” that were culled from a variety of perspectives, including criminal-justice experts, community leaders, law enforcement and civil-liberties advocates. 

Read more at USA Today.