Buttigieg, Struggling With Black Voters- Releases Plan to Address Racial Inequities – The New York Times

By Reid J. Epstein and Richard A. Oppel Jr.

“WASHINGTON — Pete Buttigieg, whose presidential campaign is struggling to appeal to African-American voters even as it gains more support from Democratic donors, on Thursday released a plan to “dismantle racist structures and systems” in the federal government.

Mr. Buttigieg’s announcement comes after weeks of scrutiny of his record on racial justice as mayor of South Bend, Ind., where a white police officer shot and killed a black man last month.

The episode turned into a severe test of his leadership, spawning protests among South Bend’s black residents and raising questions about his handling of policing issues in the city. Mr. Buttigieg suspended his campaign for several days to return and meet with members of the black community.

Mr. Buttigieg has offered a frank acknowledgment of his shortcomings in this area, saying during last month’s debate that he has not done a sufficient job recruiting police officers of color during his seven years as mayor.”

“. . . . His goals include many of the major changes sought by liberal criminal justice reform groups, and in some cases conservative groups as well.

They include eliminating federal incarceration for drug possession and reducing sentences for other drug offenses; legalizing marijuana at the federal level; limiting solitary confinement; and abolishing the death penalty and mandatory minimum sentencing.

Mr. Buttigieg also called for the establishment of several measures specifically addressing policing: tightening the legal standard for police officers to use deadly force; creating a federal database of officers fired from police departments; and persuading states to disclose more data on use of force, line-of-duty deaths, traffic stops and officer misconduct.”

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