Temple University student Cariann Hithon was celebrating her birthday over the weekend when she was fatally shot by an officer in Miami. The aspiring lawyer was reportedly under the influence when she struck a group of officers with her car early Sunday (Oct. 8). Many questions arose in the aftermath of the shooting, much like the cases of police shootings before it.
One thing that’s remained under the radar are the steps that could’ve been taken to avoid such a fate for the 22-year-old. The New York Civil Liberties Union, an affiliate of the ACLU, plans to explain this and much more at a local level with “Better Policing for a Better New York,” a discussion designed to tackle the future of police practices as well as an exchange of ideas to enforces communal unity.
Taking place at Brooklyn’s BAMcafé Wednesday (Oct. 11), Michael Skolnik, co-founder and CEO of the Soze Agency and Adam Foss, former assistant district attorney for Suffolk County, Mass., will be joined by those in and out of law enforcement. In addition to a verbal conversation, Creative Tensions, a participatory format designed by IDEO and the Sundance Institute Theatre Program, will also be used. The practice involves physical actions and movements instead of combative dialogue.
Switching up the conversation from the inside out has been a long-lasting mission for the organization. This week, the New York Civil Liberties Union curated “Listening NYC,” a citywide pop-up that allowed New Yorkers to share their or known interactions with police officers and suggestions on how to make them safer for all.
“Our research showed a wide gulf between New Yorkers’ experiences with police, but the enthusiastic response we received doing our survey revealed people’s hunger to talk about these issues, share experiences and reach across communities,” Johanna Miller, NYCLU advocacy director, said. “That’s where Listening NYC comes in. Change won’t happen until we come together, but it’s hard to understand someone else’s experience of policing when it’s so different from your own.”
The event is open to the public and will run from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Find out more about “Better Policing for a Better New York” and the NYCLU here.