National Building Museum: Interview with Amber N. Wiley

Amber N. Wiley, Ph.D., collaborated with the Museum to lend insight into the Pilot District Project (PDP), the subject of the forthcoming exhibition Community Policing in the Nation’s Capital Program: The Pilot District Project, 1968-1973.

NBM Online: After Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination in 1968, the Pilot District Project was born as a local experiment in police reform and citizen participation in a predominantly African American area of Washington, D.C. Who were some of the key people instrumental to the PDP’s forming?
Amber Wiley: Robert Shellow, a social psychologist who was the head of research for the Kerner Commission, developed the program. He had previous experience researching issues of civil disturbances, as well as working with the Prince George’s County Police Department to aid in developing protocol for policing large-scale events.

Marion Barry, civil rights activist, founder of Pride, Inc., and the Free DC Movement was initially against the program. His antagonism was a result of the fact that the PDP had started police sensitivity training before developing an elected citizens’ board to oversee the project. He created a coalition of local activists to run for the board under the banner of the People’s Party. His party ended up winning the majority of the seats on the PDP citizens’ board.

To read the rest visit: https://www.nbm.org/interview-amber-n-wiley/

Learn more about the Pilot District Project.