POLICING IN AMERICA: A PANEL DISCUSSION with Carmen Best, John Wood, Jr., Cheryl Dorsey and Coleman Hughes
December 3, 2020 / 7:00 pm EST
Pictured from left to right: Carmen Best, John Wood, Jr., Cheryl Dorsey and Coleman Hughes
In the current national landscape, much attention has been focused on the relationship between law enforcement and the communities they serve. From calls to “defund the police” to calls for reform through increased funding to support training and resources, these conversations encompass a wide range of perspectives. In this panel, guest speakers will address these topics and others as they weigh in on the key issues and policy debates facing law enforcement in our country.
Chief Carmen Best (Retired), Former Chief of Police for the Seattle Police Department
Before becoming the first African American woman to hold the top policing job in Seattle, Washington, Carmen Best served in the U.S. Army, attended Western Illinois University and Northeastern University, and served with the Seattle Police Department for 28 years. During her tenure as Chief of Police, she was viewed as a champion and leader of reforms, regularly meeting with community leaders and overseeing a decrease in major crimes, as well as leading record-breaking hiring and recruitment initiatives focused on diversifying the force. In 2019, Chief Best received the “Vision from the Mountaintop” award from Urban Impact for her commitment to justice and community. After her resignation in August of 2020, Chief Best has become a leader for several organizations, including the United Negro College Fund Seattle, the National Latino Police Officers Association, National Law Enforcement Exploring Committee, and the Seattle University Criminal Justice Advisory Committee.
John Wood, Jr., National Ambassador for Braver Angels, former Vice-Chairman of the Republican Party of Los Angeles
John Wood, Jr. is a former candidate for congress and a former vice-chairman of the Republican Party of Los Angeles County. A noted writer and speaker on the subjects of political and racial reconciliation, John’s written work has been featured in publications including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Examiner and Quillette Magazine. He is a national spokesperson for the bipartisan organization Braver Angels, which works to “bring liberals and conservatives together at the grassroots level to find one another as citizens.” He lives in South Los Angeles with his wife and three children.
Sergeant Cheryl Dorsey (Retired), Former Sergeant for Los Angeles Police Department
Cheryl Dorsey began her law enforcement career in 1980 as a patrol officer with the Los Angeles Police Department in California. During the course of her 20-year career, she served in the South, Central, West, and Valley Bureaus and eventually attained the position of sergeant. She was assigned to the Central Traffic Division and was the first African American female officer to attend the LAPD Motor School. She subsequently became the first African American female Officer-In-Charge for Newton Area Vice. Dorsey also served within the gang unit in Operations South Bureau; known as Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums (CRASH), where she frequently encountered drive-by shootings and clashes between rival gangs. After retiring, Dorsey went on to author Black and Blue: The Creation of a Social Advocate, which chronicles her experiences in the LAPD. She has since appeared in numerous media outlets including CNN, HLN, MSNBC, and KPCC as an expert on law enforcement issues.
Coleman Hughes, Guest Moderator, Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and contributing editor at City Journal
Coleman Hughes is a writer and opinion columnist, focusing on race, public policy, and applied ethics. His work has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, National Review, Quillette Magazine, The City Journal, and The Spectator. In addition to appearing regularly as a guest on podcasts such as The Rubin Report and Making Sense with Sam Harris, he recently launched his own series, Conversations with Coleman. Before becoming a writer, Hughes briefly attended the Juilliard School to study jazz trombone but dropped out to pursue a career as an independent jazz/hip-hop artist. However, he quickly discovered a passion for applied ethics and public policy at Columbia University, and graduated from there with a B.A. in philosophy. In June 2019, Hughes testified before Congress at a hearing on reparations for slavery in America. He is currently a fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, and a contributing editor at City Journal.
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