WASHINGTON, January 22 (Sputnik) — The tensions between US law enforcement officials and minority communities is based on the lack of interaction and understanding between the two groups, US Vice President Joe Biden said at a Thursday meeting of the US Conference of Mayors in Washington, DC.
“We got a problem between cops and minority communities,” the Vice President said in a keynote address to approximately 300 US mayors. “I’d respectfully suggest that we don’t see each other anymore. Cops don’t see the community anymore — not all. The community doesn’t see cops anymore.”
Community policing in minority neighbourhoods has become an increasingly dominant issue in the United States where in 2014 several unarmed African-American men were killed by police officers.
US federal funding for local law enforcement has declined by 87 percent since 1999 which has amounted to 10,000 fewer police officers in US communities, Biden cited.
Almost half of the US population believes that police officers should carry more military equipment, a poll conducted by ICM Research exclusively for Sputnik news agency found.
ICM Research surveyed over 1,000 adults of different ethnicities and social backgrounds across the United States from December 5 to 17 last year.
The ICM opinion poll found that people of African-American and Asian heritage made up the majority of those strongly opposing police having more military equipment.
The shootings of unarmed black men have led to public outcry over racial inequality in the United States, with thousand-strong crowds protesting racial profiling. This prompted US President Barack Obama in December to ask Congress to allow for the training and equipment of American police officers with body cameras in an effort to reduce discrimination.