Deputy Chief David Campbell says force is always something that’s going to be used in police work — but, it has to be justified.
He said the state’s crime rate is high relative to others and that it could improve.
Anchorage Police Chief Justin Doll said that the department has a “progressive mindset” when it comes to its use of force policies, but acknowledged there are areas where the department needs to improve.
Juneau’s city police refused to release its written policy, at least, not without getting lawyers involved.
Protests in support of the Black Lives Matter movement drew thousands of residents from around Southcentral Alaska who marched peacefully over the weekend. One of the most-watched – and well-attended – was a protest in Palmer that raised concerns about violence but ended mostly peacefully on Saturday. The march, advertised as the Palmer Vigil for…
Black and native speakers led the event with a discussion on the intersecting struggles of black and indigenous communities.
Organizers read the names of black and brown lives lost to police violence. They also spoke about long-standing race issues in Juneau, namely in public education and the state criminal justice system.
“We recognize that too often African-Americans, Alaska Natives, and other people of color are not treated with the same dignity and respect as white members of our communities,” the justices wrote.
While Alaska’s rallies and protests have remained peaceful some Alaskans have reported instances of intimidation, backlash, or resistance. More demonstrations are planned for this weekend.
One protestor says it can be difficult to see the impacts of systemic police violence in a town where officers generally have a good relationship with the community.