America doesn’t try to hide problems of police violence, but tries to fix them – the U.S. Embassy in Azerbaijan – UPDATED

Baku: Racial violence sadly occurs around the world and is an issue that every country must acknowledge and address, U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan Robert Cekuta and Deputy Chief of Mission Dereck Hogan wrote on Facebook in a discussion titled “Police violence and racial tensions in the United States”.

The embassy said that the U.S. has come a long way in acknowledging the problem of racial inequality and discrimination. “But our work isn’t done and that is recognized at the highest levels of our government. I’d like you to consider that the reason you are hearing about police violence and racial tension in the United States is because American citizens, and the U.S. Government are concerned, and because they are voicing that concern. America doesn’t claim to be perfect, and we don’t try to hide our problems – we try to fix them.

The diplomats stated that sometimes the use of force is necessary to protect lives and property: “In the legal process of the case in Ferguson, Missouri, the legal process found that the force used was within the law. In Baltimore, as I mentioned, the investigators found that force may have been improperly used. Were police correct to use force to disperse protesters when they became violent? I think it is important to highlight that the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right of people to “peaceably assemble.”

The word “peaceable” is important because law enforcement authorities have a duty to step in and protect people and property from harm when demonstrations become violent. However, it’s worth noting that the violence in Baltimore overshadowed many days of peaceful protests in the city, where people exercised their freedom of assembly to draw attention to a case of police violence they believed unacceptable. Long before the protests turned violent, authorities heard those calls and opened an investigation that led to criminal charges against six police officers.”

According to the Ambassador the recent statistics show that only 1.4% of people who had direct contact with police reported that force was used against them: “That number shows we are talking about a small number of instances. Nevertheless, excessive use of force is a problem that we still need to address.

The President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing is focused on doing just that. The recommendations from the Task Force may not solve every problem, but they will make a concrete difference in rebuilding trust and ensuring that the overwhelming majority of effective, honest and fair law enforcement officers are able to do their job better because it will weed out or retrain the handful of officers who are not doing what they are supposed to.

I agree that this can and does happen around the world. Whatever the dispute, whether race, or religion, or political beliefs, we have to realize that as human beings we have more in common than we have differences. Part of achieving that is to talk about our problems, to engage in peaceful dialogue so that we can get to the source and make changes so that we can work together toward a brighter common future.”

SOURCE: Azeri Press News Agency