Julián Castro eyes policing reform with 'People First' plan

Julián Castro eyes policing reform with 'People First' plan
© Greg Nash

Julián Castro on Monday released a plan that the Democratic White House hopeful said would reform the U.S. policing system and heal the relationship between police and their communities.

With the "People First Policing Plan," Castro wants to set new national standards on police conduct, increase transparency and accountability in police departments, seek to end over-policing and address violence and harassment against minority citizens.

“From Stephon Clark, to Pamela Turner, to Tamir Rice, far too many lives have been tragically cut short at the hands of a broken police system,” the former Housing and Urban Development secretary said in a statement.

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“I’m proud to put forward my People First Policing plan to set new standards for police departments, hold officers accountable for excessive use of force, and begin to heal the divide between police departments and the communities they serve,” he said.

To end over-policing and racially discriminatory targeting, Castro's plan would restrict the use of deadly force, invest in technology like body cameras, require extensive implicit bias training and end stop-and-frisk.

The plan also outlines the creation of a public national database to track decertified police officers and make it easier to prosecute police officers for misconduct.

The platform also includes several ways to help improve the frayed relationship between police and the communities they serve like deprioritizing enforcement of minor offenses and mandating community-led trainings.

The new plan is Castro's third policy rollout of his 2020 campaign, following immigration and education platforms.

The former San Antonio, Texas, mayor has struggled to stand out in the crowded Democratic primary field, polling close to 2 percent in most national and state surveys.