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Detroit activist and former judge says time has come to end racial inequality

Activist watching from sidelines as world changes once again

DETROIT – Adam Shakoor is a distinguished and rare longtime leader in the Motor City.

Not only is he an African American who has been an activist in the civil rights movement, but he’s also a man that’s worked extremely close with law enforcement over the years.

That places him in a very interesting place during today’s climate.

”I became the executive deputy mayor in terms of administratively handling various departments and one of those specifically was the police department,” said Shakoor.

He has always been a leader in the City of Detroit, once serving as chief judge of the 36th District Court, and even executive deputy mayor under former Mayor Coleman Young.

But now as a 73-year-old, he’s been watching from the sidelines as the world changes once again in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death.

”I feel that the time has come, and it’s long overdue. There are conditions that exist that only impact in a negative way that causes death unnecessary death on black men, especially, but on black women, and on black kids on you juveniles in schools,” he said.

Although Shakoor believes the City of Detroit is handling the repeated protests pretty well, he says more had to be done on a national level to change the inequalities African Americans face when dealing with the police.

”There needs to be some soul searching by those who are in leadership now as to how best can they embrace this community concept community policing,” he added.

If there’s anything Shakoor is proud of, it’s how the younger generations have banded together for what they believe is right.

”There’s so many young people that are embracing this and they don’t want any, any inequality. They want fairness. Black, brown, red, yellow, everybody wants fairness as human beings and law is supposed to be just what that word is, fair,” he said.

As far as Detroit, the eyes of the world are on the Motor City. Shakoor believes we can continue to set a great example for the rest of America.

”We have a good foundation to do some future great things in terms of bringing community, police together in various ways that might be a beacon of light to other cities in this country,” he said.

And Shakoor applauds the work of Detroit Police Chief James Craig. He says he specifically remembers when the chief was a rookie and he’s proud of the work that’s been done.

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