Guide to the Rhode Island Select Commission on Race and Police-Community Relations records , 2000-2003

(bulk 2000-2001)


Rhode Island State Archives
Rhode Island State Archives
337 Westminster Street
Providence, RI 02903
Tel: 401-222-2353
Fax: 401-222-3199
email: statearchives@sos.ri.gov

Published in 2010

Collection Overview

Title:Rhode Island Select Commission on Race and Police-Community Relations records
Date range:2000-2003, (bulk 2000-2001)
Creator:Rhode Island. Select Commission on Race and Police-Community Relations
Extent:2.25 cubic feet other
Abstract:The Rhode Island Select Commission on Race and Police-Community Relations records primarily include the meeting agendas and meeting minutes of the Commission. The records also include copies of related presentations and reports as well as civilian complaint data requested by the Commission from the state and local police departments in Rhode Island.
Language of materials:English
Repository:Rhode Island State Archives
Collection number:2010-05

Scope & content

The Rhode Island Select Commission on Race and Police-Community Relations records consist of a wide variety of materials relating to the activities of the Select Commission on Race and Police-Community Relations. The records consist primarily of transcripts from public meetings and public hearings conducted by the Commission. In addition, the records contain reports by the Commission and reports related to areas of interest to the commission, civilian complaint procedures and data from state and local police departments, training and presentation materials and administrative records of the Commission.

Arrangement

The Rhode Island Select Commission on Race and Police-Community Relations records are arranged into the following series:
  • Series 1. Training and Presentation Materials, 2001-2002
  • Series 2. Civilian Complaints, 2001
  • Series 3. Reports, 2001-2003
  • Series 4. Administrative Records, 2000-2001
  • Series 5. Transcripts, 2000-2001

Historical note

The Rhode Island Select Commission on Race and Police-Community Relations was established by Executive Order 00-3 by Governor Lincoln Almond on April 6, 2000. The Executive Order was issued following the shooting death of Providence Police Department Sergeant Cornel Young, Jr.

Sergeant Young was off duty on January 28, 2000 at Fidas Restaurant in Providence when a disturbance was started by other restaurant patrons. Sergeant Young, who was in plainclothes, observed a suspect with a gun confronting two officers. With his gun drawn, Sergeant Young approached them to offer assistance. The officers did not recognize him and ordered him to drop his gun. When he did not drop the weapon, the officers fired, striking him. Sergeant Young was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

Sergeant Young was promoted to the rank of Sergeant posthumously. Sergeant Young had been with the Providence Police Department for less than three years at the time of his death. There was a great community outcry following Sergeant Young’s, an African-American, shooting death at the hands of two white Providence Police Officers.

The Rhode Island Select Commission on Race and Police-Community Relations consisted of fifteen (15) members of which thirteen (13) members were assigned by the Governor and two (2) members were appointed by the General Assembly. The Commission was charged with:

• independently reviewing the issues surfacing from the shooting death of Sergeant Cornel Young, Jr.; including but not limited to impacts of investigations into that tragedy;

• analyzing police-community relations in Rhode Island, and making specific recommendations for their improvement;

• studying and recommending changes needed to statutes, ordinances, institutional policies, procedures and practices deemed necessary to:

o improve law enforcement work and

o accountability;

o reduce racism;

o enhance the administration of justice;

o affect reconciliation between diverse segments of the statewide community.

The Commission had the authority to hold hearings as necessary to request and review any public information the Commission deemed necessary for its work, including the review of any public information, documents and testimony related to the investigation of the death of Sergeant Cornel Young, Jr. The responsibilities of the Commission included, but were not limited to reviewing and recommending changes that significantly improve current police policies, procedures and practices related to:

• recruitment, hiring and training of police officers;

• the level and quality of diversity training, sensitivity awareness and cultural competency;

• the level and quality of efforts related to building and improving overall community relations;

• the use of firearms by on-duty and off-duty police officers;

• the use of excessive force;

• the use of racial profiling; and legislation reforming police policies, procedures or community relations.

The Commission was to submit a final report to the Governor and the General Assembly no later than May 1, 2001 and Executive Order 00-3 limited the Commission to functioning until May 31, 2001 unless its mission and work was extended by the Governor.

Access & Use

Access to the collection:No special restrictions unless otherwise specified.
Use of the materials:Copyright is in the public domain unless otherwise specified. We reserve the right to restrict reproduction of materials due to preservation concerns.
Preferred citation:Rhode Island Select Commission on Race and Police-Community Relations records, 2010-05, Rhode Island State Archives.
Contact information: Rhode Island State Archives
Rhode Island State Archives
337 Westminster Street
Providence, RI 02903
Tel: 401-222-2353
Fax: 401-222-3199
email: statearchives@sos.ri.gov

Administrative Information

ABOUT THE COLLECTION 
Acquisition:Transferred from Department of Administration, Office of the Director on February 2, 2010.
ABOUT THE FINDING AID 
Author:Finding aid prepared by Kate Telford.
Encoding:Finding aid encoded by Kate Telford 2010 February 04
Descriptive rules:Finding aid based on Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS)

Additional Information

Inventory


Series 1. Training and Presentation materials
Box 1, Folder 1
Includes Governor’s Law Enforcement Training Commission (LETC) PowerPoint presentation (2001), The State of Law Enforcement Training in Rhode Island PowerPoint presentation (2002) and Rhode Island State Police: State Police Facility Request (undated).

Series 2. Civilian Complaints
Box 1, Folder 2-4
Includes information submitted to the Commission following the Commission's request for information sent to state, city and town police departments in a letter dated February 6, 2001. The following police departments submitted information: Central Falls, Coventry, Cranston, East Greenwich, Foster, Glocester, Johnston, Middletown, Narragansett, Newport, North Kingstown, Pawtucket, Portsmouth, Providence, Scituate, South Kingstown, Smithfield, State Police and Warwick.

Series 3. Reports
Box 1, Folder 5-8
Includes Providence Traffic Stop Statistics Compliance Final Report and Providence Traffic Stop Statistics Final Analysis (2001, 2002 and 2003), The Report of Rhode Island Select Commission on Race and Police-Community Relations- Executive Summary (May 2001) and Examples of Promising Police Practices and Policies (Department of Justice, undated).

Series 4. Administrative Records
Box 2-3
Includes business cards, letterhead, staff, media contacts, Director's copies of the Governor's Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission and the Governor's Law Enforcement Training Commission agendas, minutes and meeting packets, Interoffice Memos, attendance lists, correspondence, hearing notes, evaluation forms, informational packets and other assorted administrative records related to the activities of the Commission.

Series 5. Transcripts
Box 4-5
Includes transcripts completed by Capitol Court Reporting, Inc. of the hearings and public proceedings of the Select Commission on Race and Police-Community Relations.