Main Article Content
congregational social work, police brutality
In the last decade, there have been a shocking number of police killings of unarmed African Americans, and advancements in technology have made these incidents more visible to the general public. The increasing public awareness of police brutality in African American communities creates a critical and urgent need to understand and improve police-community relationships. Congregational social workers (and other social workers who are part of religious congregations) have a potentially significant role in addressing the problem of police brutality. This manuscript explores and describes possible contributions by social workers, with differential consideration for those in predominantly Black or White congregations.
American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.
Bryant-Davis, T., Adams, T., Alejandre, A., & Gray, A. A. (2017). The trauma lens of police violence against racial and ethnic minorities: Trauma lens of police violence against ethnic minorities. Journal of Social Issues, 73(4), 852–871. https://doi.org/10.1111/josi.12251
Carter, R. (2006). Race-based traumatic stress. Psychiatric Times, 23(14), 37–38.
Clay, K. (n.d.). The White Church Should Not Be Silent on the Killing of Black Men by Police. Retrieved May 29, 2019, from The Root website: https://www.theroot.com/the-white-church-should-not-be-silent-on-the-killing-of-1790877247
Coates, T. R. D. (n.d.). After Ferguson and Staten Island, Black Churches Remain Committed to the Fight for Justice. Retrieved September 4, 2018, from The Root website: https://www.theroot.com/after-ferguson-and-staten-island-black-churches-remain-1790877958
Community Healing Network. (2018). Emotional Emancipation Circles. Retrieved October 4, 2019, from https://www.communityhealingnet.org/emotional-emancipation-circle/
Cooper, H. (2015). War on drugs policing and police brutality. Substance Use & Misuse, 50(8–9), 1188–1194. https://doi.org/10.3109/10826084.2015.1007669
Correll, J., Park, B., Judd, C. M., Wittenbrink, B., Sadler, M. S., & Keesee, T. (2007). Across the thin blue line: Police officers and racial bias in the decision to shoot. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92(6), 1006–1023. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-35126.96.36.1996
Crowell, C., Mosley, D., Falconer, J., Faloughi, R., Singh, A., Stevens-Watkins, D., & Cokley, K. (2017). Black lives matter: A call to action for counseling psychology leaders. The Counseling Psychologist, 45(6), 873–901. https://doi.org/10.1177/0011000017733048
Dart, T. (2019, October 15). Fort Worth officer who killed black woman in her home charged with murder. The Guardian. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/oct/14/fort-worth-police-shooting-atatiana-jefferson-killed
Dirks, S. (2018, June 26). Oakland Church Steps Out On Faith And Pledges To Stop Calling Police. Retrieved May 29, 2019, from NPR.org website: https://www.npr.org/2018/06/26/623312638/oakland-church-steps-out-on-faith-and-pledges-to-stop-calling-police
Durr, M. (2015). What is the difference between slave patrols and modern day policing? Institutional violence in a community of color. Critical Sociology, 41(6), 873–879. https://doi.org/10.1177/0896920515594766
English, D., Bowleg, L., del Río-González, A. M., Tschann, J. M., Agans, R. P., & Malebranche, D. J. (2017). Measuring Black men’s police-based discrimination experiences: Development and validation of the Police and Law Enforcement (PLE) Scale. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 23(2), 185–199. https://doi.org/10.1037/cdp0000137
Gabriel, D. (2018, July 18). Retraining ourselves: How this church is divesting from calling the police. Retrieved September 10, 2018, from Sojourners website: https://sojo.net/articles/retraining-ourselves-how-church-divesting-calling-police
Galovski, T. E., Peterson, Z. D., Beagley, M. C., Strasshofer, D. R., Held, P., & Fletcher, T. D. (2016). Exposure to violence during Ferguson protests: Mental health effects for law enforcement and community members. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 29(4), 283–292. https://doi.org/10.1002/jts.22105
Gilbert, K. L., & Ray, R. (2016). Why police kill Black males with impunity: Applying Public Health Critical Race Praxis (PHCRP) to address the determinants of policing behaviors and “justifiable” homicides in the USA. Journal of Urban Health, 93(S1), 122–140. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11524-015-0005-x
Grills, C. N., Aird, E. G., & Rowe, D. (2016). Breathe, baby, breathe: Clearing the way for the emotional emancipation of Black people. Cultural Studies ↔ Critical Methodologies, 16(3), 333–343. https://doi.org/10.1177/1532708616634839
Hemmings, C., & Evans, A. M. (2018). Identifying and treating race-based trauma in counseling. Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, 46(1), 20–39. https://doi.org/10.1002/jmcd.12090
Hill, T. E. (n.d.). The Church at Its Racial Turning Point. Retrieved May 29, 2019, from ChristianityToday.com website: https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2016/july-web-only/church-at-its-racial-turning-point.html
McGregor, A. (2016). Politics, police accountability, and public health: Civilian review in Newark, New Jersey. Journal of Urban Health, 93(S1), 141–153. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11524-015-9998-4
Miley, K. K., O’Melia, M. W., & DuBois, B. L. (2016). Social work functions and roles. In Generalist social work practice: An empowering approach (8 edition, pp. 12–18). Boston, MA: Pearson.
Moore, S., A. Robinson, M., M. Clayton, D., Adedoyin, A. C., A. Boamah, D., Kyere, E., & Harmon, D. (2018). A critical race perspective of police shooting of unharmed Black males in the United States: Implications for social work. Urban Social Work, 2, 33–47. https://doi.org/10.1891/2474-86188.8.131.52
Moore, S., Robinson, M. A., Adedoyin, A. C., Brooks, M., Harmon, D. K., & Boamah, D. (2016). Hands up—Don’t shoot: Police shooting of young Black males: Implications for social work and human services. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 26(3–4), 254–266. https://doi.org/10.1080/10911359.2015.1125202
Ondrey, T. (2015). Congregations Map Campaign For Police Reform. Retrieved October 5, 2019, from PopularResistance.Org website: https://popularresistance.org/greater-cleveland-congregations-maps-campaign-for-police-reform/
PBS. (n.d.). Race-based legislation in the North. Retrieved October 8, 2019, from https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part4/4p2957.html
Plain Dealer staff. (2015, January 14). Congregations map campaign for police reform. Retrieved August 27, 2019, from PopularResistance.Org website: https://popularresistance.org/greater-cleveland-congregations-maps-campaign-for-police-reform/
Polanco-Roman, L., Danies, A., & Anglin, D. M. (2016). Racial discrimination as race-based trauma, coping strategies and dissociative symptoms among emerging adults. Psychological Trauma : Theory, Research, Practice and Policy, 8(5), 609–617. https://doi.org/10.1037/tra0000125
Robinson, M. A. (2017). Black bodies on the ground: Policing disparities in the African American community—An analysis of newsprint from January 1, 2015, through December 31, 2015. Journal of Black Studies, 48(6), 551–571. https://doi.org/10.1177/0021934717702134
Robinson, M., Jones-Eversley, S., Moore, S., Ravenell, J., & Adedoyin, A. C. (2018). Black male mental health and the Black church: Advancing a collaborative partnership and research agenda. Journal of Religion and Health, 57. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10943-018-0570-x
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (n.d.). SAMHSA- HSRA Center for Integrated Health Solutions: Trauma. Retrieved October 1, 2019, from https://www.integration.samhsa.gov/clinical-practice/trauma#trauma_informed_care
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2015.) Trauma-Informed Response Training. Retrieved October 1, 2019, from https://www.samhsa.gov/gains-center/trauma-training-criminal-justice-professionals
Sewell, A. A., Jefferson, K. A., & Lee, H. (2016). Living under surveillance: Gender, psychological distress, and stop-question-and-frisk policing in New York City. Social Science & Medicine (1982), 159, 1–13. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2016.04.024
Staggers-Hakim, R. (2016). The nation’s unprotected children and the ghost of Mike Brown, or the impact of national police killings on the health and social development of African American boys. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 26(3–4), 390–399. https://doi.org/10.1080/10911359.2015.1132864
Swain, R. D. (2008). “Standing on the promises that cannot fail”: Evaluating the Black church’s ability to promote community activism among African-Americans in the present day context. Journal of African American Studies, 12(4), 401–413. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12111-008-9058-1
Swaine, J., Laughland, O., Lartey, J., Davis, K., Harris, R., Popovich, N., … Guardian US team. (n.d.). The Counted: People killed by police in the United States [interactive database]. Retrieved September 21, 2019, from The Guardian website: http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/ng-interactive/2015/jun/01/the-counted-police-killings-us-database
The African American Policy Forum. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://aapf.org/about-the-campaign.
The Guardian. (2018). Young Black men again faced highest rate of US police killings in 2016. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/08/the-counted-police-killings-2016-young-black-men
The Park. (2019). Police Brutality and the Church’s Response: June 27, 2018. (2018, June 22). Retrieved October 5, 2019, from The Park United Methodist Church website: https://www.theparkumc.org/2018/police-brutality-and-the-churchs-response-a-community-conversation-june-27-2018/