Project 21’s Emmett Discusses Police-Black Community Relations

As political talk shows focus on police power and allegations of a dysfunctional relationship between cops and the communities they are charged with protecting, Project 21’s Shelby Emmett has been there to promote her views on the issue and her recommendations for rectifying the problem from a black conservative perspective.

After the recent murders of two police officers in New York City, Shelby laid a lot of the blame for anti-police hostility at the feet of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.  On the 12/29/14 edition of “The Rick Amato Show” on the One America News Network, host Rick Amato said Shelby made an “excellent point” he had not previously considered when she said people such as de Blasio “took a group of people – in this case, African-Americans – and is using us, like liberals do” by pitting people against each other.  She added: “I’m proud to say the police are standing up to this… [De Blasio is] just concerned with power.”

Furthermore, commenting on the assumption that cops are consciously targeting blacks to the degree that his own biracial son is at risk, Shelby said:

I find it reprehensible that [de Blasio] would automatically assume that every single black young man in this country has this problem [of undue police harassment].  And then to automatically line up his son to these credentials [is unfair].

Speaking about officers who expressed anger at de Blasio for playing such politics against their vocation, Shelby said the anger crossed racial lines among officers.  From her own experience with black officers who are friends of hers, and including at least one who attended the memorial service in New York for one of the slain officers, she said cops were “standing behind blue – not black or white or anything else… just to be there for a co-worker.”

Regarding the responsibilities of the community in all of this, Shelby said that blacks need to have an “honest conversation” about dealing with police that includes self-reflection about “personal responsibility” and “accountability.”  She said children in black communities should be raised to want to become cops rather than fear them.

On the 12/19/14 edition of “The Big Picture” on the RT network, Shelby said alleged police abuses seem to have a root cause in the fact that officers are given too much power to enforce too many laws.  She explained that “whenever you give any entity power… that people are human and they are going to take advantage of that power.”  In her opinion, Shelby said police should be “limit[ed in] what they’re able to do.”

Shelby said: “Police should be focused on major, serious crimes… They should stick to very limited goals.”  When challenged about a racial aspect of the controversy by host Thom Hartmann, she replied: “I don’t think it’s much more of a racial component as it is a power move” on the part of certain cops.

Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives for over 25 years, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research. Its members have been quoted, interviewed or published over 40,000 times since the program was created in 1992. Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated, and may be earmarked exclusively for the use of Project 21.