August 13, 2020
"After historic protests shook the nation, we [NJ Advance Media] asked more than 50 New Jerseyans how we should end systemic racism in policing." Peter G. Verniero, former N.J. Supreme Court justice and former New Jersey attorney general and current Chair of the Sills Cummis Corporate Internal Investigations and Appellate Practice Groups, had this to say:
“New Jersey’s current attorney general is correct in reviewing the use of force by police. Use-of-force guidelines need to be clear, comprehensive and reinforced by intensive training, including de-escalation training.
“And Congress needs to act. Racial injustice is a national issue. It cannot be reserved exclusively for individual state reforms. Nor can it be limited to case-by-case prosecutions of police misconduct, although such prosecutions should be pursued diligently when warranted."
“We need national standards on police conduct and any reforms that are enacted need to include mechanisms for regular independent review to ensure that they are working as intended.
“The harder part of reform is altering human behavior to erase racial bias. It is the moral challenge of our time to alter deeply rooted cultural attitudes that allow racism to exist. To affect such cultural change, we should consider ways in which good behavior is reinforced, discriminatory behavior is rejected and any element of bias is removed from the system. And we should allocate resources to those entities or programs that can make a positive difference.”