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Prior career as a police officer shapes Mike London's view on law enforcement

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Over the last month, America has been having a long-overdue conversation about race, justice and equality in our society. At NBC Sports Washington, we wanted to further the dialogue by providing a forum for DMV-area sports figures who are thought leaders on these important issues.

NBC Sports Washington is launching the third part of an ongoing video series entitled Race in America. This week, Mike London joined Chris Miller, Robert Griffin III and Calais Campbell for the last of three roundtable discussions to share his experiences, thoughts and how he’s using all platforms in this fight. To watch the full interview, click here.

William & Mary head coach Mike London is well known around local football circles, having spent time coaching at Virginia, Richmond, Howard and Maryland before coming back to lead the football program in Williamsburg. What many may not know is that London actually had a previous career in law enforcement before putting on the headset.

The 59-year-old coach spent time with the Richmond Police Department as a detective before entering the coaching ranks. In the latest ‘Race in America’ roundtable, Chris Miller presented London with several racial disparity statistics in regards to traffic stops in the Washington, D.C. area, and the head coach took a deeper look into why that may be happening.

“What’s obvious is the color disparity, the race disparity,” London said. “In order to make city governments functional, traffic citations, summons, things that are issued also raise the revenue for the surrounding city and surrounding areas.”

 

RACE IN AMERICA: WATCH MIKE LONDON, ROBERT GRIFFIN III AND CALAIS CAMPBELL’S FULL DISCUSSION

Those comments sparked questions from another panel participant, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Robert Griffin III, who wanted to know if those facts were a part of “systemic oppression of African-American communities.”

“You’re right,” London said. “There’s levels that lead up to levels that then continue on, that you get into a debt cycle that is hard to escape.”

Ravens defensive end Calais Campbell, the 2019 NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year winner for his work in the community, then asked London to draw on his police experience to answer the “big question” of whether or not the system is broken.

“The reallocation of the funding, or the importance of some of the things when you do see such a large law enforcement presence in communities or situations that you can change by just your action and interaction.”

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