Pleasant Ridge Statement on Racism, Systemic Bias, and Policing

The City of Pleasant Ridge City Commission and Police issued the following statement at the June 9 meeting:

The Pleasant Ridge City Commission and Police condemn the senseless and heartbreaking killing of George Floyd. This and other related incidents have sparked an unprecedented call for reform across the nation to address systemic bias and racism. The killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and so many others are a testament to the distance we still must travel in our efforts to break down bias. We take this opportunity to honor these lost lives, and to express our continued commitment to provide exemplary law enforcement, free of racial bias and ready to meet the moment.

Pleasant Ridge has always placed a high importance on our police department. In turn, our police have long been accountable, fair, and capable in the discharge of their duties. The actions documented on video in the George Floyd incident have not, are not, and will not be taught, endorsed, or tolerated by the Pleasant Ridge police. Our police policies are regularly updated to ensure that our officers demonstrate the highest professionalism.  In keeping with modern practices, our police wear body cameras and all interactions with the public are recorded. Our use of force policy requires de-escalation of force consistent with the level of resistance from the subject. Medical treatment must be offered whenever a subject requests or complains of injury or pain, or when the officer believes the subject to be injured. All use of force incidents require a formal report and a review by the Chief of Police.

While we are confident in our training and policies, the Pleasant Ridge police have used this incident as a moment to reflect upon how we can be better tomorrow than we were today. We are reviewing our policies and will add language to explicitly prohibit the use of outdated control techniques. We will increase the number of classes that officers must take on de-escalation, proper restraint and hold techniques, implicit bias, cultural competency, and communication techniques as part of our regular training work. We will also work to make our commitment to fair, capable and accountable community policing visible to our residents, our neighboring communities, and to the people who travel through our city. Finally, we will review our hiring practices to ensure that we are compliant with best practices to screen out bad apples so that they cannot be hired in Pleasant Ridge.

In short, it is not acceptable to us that anyone experience discrimination or oppression in Pleasant Ridge. We, as a City, and as a country must work with honest intent to remove these inequities so that everyone, regardless of race, religion, color, creed, or sexual orientation have the freedom to pursue happiness equally and without bias. We celebrate diversity and are committed to support and participate in the fight to eliminate systemic bias against African Americans and all minority ethnic groups.

– Pleasant Ridge City Commission and Police

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