[Community forums] sound great, right? No, they sound important. Any good leader listens to the community and provides a forum for them to offer feedback.
When it comes to San Diego and community forums on policing, though, the forums are the end, not the means to any meaningful change.
Here’s what happens: People tell officials that police racial profiling is rampant, and they spell out in painstaking detail the ways it has impacted them. Police listen to those complaints and consider their job done for having done so. The next batch of numbers inevitably shows more disparate treatment for Black resident by police, triggering a new round of forums. The police listen. Nothing changes. And the cycle chugs along in a continuous loop.