"We need to ensure that every single American is treated with equal dignity and respect under the law." - Lorie Burch
While attending law school at George Washington University in D.C., I spent a semester as an intern-investigator with the city’s public defender service, and it became clear to me that not everyone was receiving the equal treatment from our justice system that they deserve. Even as I’ve spoken with members of our own community here in North Texas, I have heard story after story detailing how Muslims, South Asians, and other communities of color are subjected to greater profiling while simply going about their lives. This cannot stand. I will continue to be a fierce advocate for criminal justice reform – including a common sense bail approach that fairly considers all relevant factors, limiting sentencing for non-violent drug offenses, and ending pre-investigatory traffic stops.
The goal of criminal justice reform should be to ensure that every person is treated with equal dignity and respect under the law. To help achieve that, I support increasing the use of body cameras by police, and educating officers about non-violent law enforcement strategies and the potential impact of demonstrating bias, whether intentional or not. Solutions such as convening citizen-police forums that encourage constructive dialogue with all the communities they serve would go a long way in improving relations with local law enforcement. Working together to implement strategies like these can help to reduce tension between law enforcement and citizens, and help to keep our communities, and our police officers, safe.