AT&T: Federal Efforts Needed on Police Reform

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AT&T says more must be done to advance racial justice and police reform

AT&T is sending a clear signal that more needs to be done to correct systemic racism and that the current attention on the presidential election and pandemic should not obscure the needed, ongoing, focus on that issue.

In a blog post, Ken McNeely, president of AT&T's Western Region, who is heading up the company's social justice issues working group, said that more work needs to be done, particularly on the federal level, on the "critical need" for racial equality and police reform.

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McNeely said the killing of George Floyd and others "led to a resurrection of the spirit of the civil rights movement, and that spirit instilled in many Americans an understanding of the need for equitable policing, and a new relationship between law enforcement and the communities they serve."

While he said that AT&T has been a leader in civil rights advocacy, citing a half-dozen state efforts it has been involved with, including supporting hate crime bills and helping Black-owned businesses (was well as its $3 billion investment in Black-owned business suppliers). But he also said that was not enough, though it was a start.

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"As valuable as state and local action are, successfully addressing this will require action at the federal level to achieve full and equal treatment for all Americans," he wrote.... [W]orking together we can redefine the relationship between law enforcement and those they serve," the vast majority of which, he said, "are dedicated public servants who do their work with courage and decency."

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.