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Loretta Lynch and Philadelphia Police Commissioner Discuss Challenges of Serving as First Black Women in Top Law Enforcement Roles

On March 31, litigation partner Loretta Lynch joined Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw on WHYY, the leading public media organization in the Philadelphia region, to discuss the challenges that come with serving as the first Black women in high-power law enforcement positions. Loretta was the first Black woman to serve as U.S. attorney general, and Danielle is the first to lead Philadelphia’s police department.

Among other topics, they discussed the growing call for police reform and accountability, and the challenges of working in communities that have been harmed by or mistrust law enforcement.

“I think it’s incumbent upon law enforcement sometimes to step a little bit out of themselves,” Loretta said. While still acknowledging the difficulty and trauma that come with their jobs, they should also recognize that “the trauma of the communities that are expressing really some very negative sentiments is just as deep.”

Loretta also said that many women’s experiences can serve them well. “Somebody who knows what it’s like not to be heard, frankly, is usually better able to bring other people out and bring those voices out,” she said.

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