What do you think? Leave a respectful comment.

A community of color uses yoga to improve ties with the NYPD

As police departments across the country work to repair and bolster their relationships with communities, a citizen group in New York City is aiming to bring residents, particularly people of color, together with the NYPD through yoga and meditation. They point to research suggesting that those activities may indirectly work to counteract racial biases. Ivette Feliciano reports.

Read the Full Transcript

  • IVETTE FELICIANO:

    This might look like an average Saturday morning yoga session inside Brooklyn, New York's Fort Greene -park. But these participants are made up of local residents and the police officers who serve their community.

  • IVETTE FELICIANO:

    Organizers Deborah Kim and Tina Paul, who run workplace mindfulness and meditation trainings across the U.S., say they wanted to improve relations between the NYPD and communities of color, like theirs.

  • TINA PAUL:

    We felt defeated by the news and we wanted to do something in our community. So we reached out to our local precinct.

  • DEBORAH KIM:

    And then it just became sort of like a mission.

  • IVETTE FELICIANO:

    They met with the police chiefs across New York, sharing a growing body of research which says that in addition to reducing stress hormones yoga and meditation can also decrease racial biases and discriminatory behaviors.

  • COLLEEN QUINN, NEW YORK POLICE OFFICER:

    All day long, every hour, you're answering however many jobs. You're seeing traumatic things. If I don't have an outlet, where does it go? This helps me not take in that energy and put it on other people.

  • IVETTE FELICIANO:

    The organizers believe is the first event in the country to bring police and civilians together for yoga and meditation.

  • AUDREY DOYLE:

    I think that it could serve to humanize the police a little bit more so that people feel more comfortable talking to police officers and so there is less of a tension between civilians and cops.

Listen to this Segment

The Latest