• Body Cameras for Police! Support The Safer Officers And Safer Citizens Act Of 2015: Michigan
    Dear Senator Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, My name is Fred Saffold. I am a Michigan resident, and I am writing to urge you to support S.1897, the Safer Officers and Safer Citizens Act of 2015. I know this bill has the potential to save not only my life, but also those of my family, friends, and neighbors. Senators, my entire community can benefit from this bill, which is why I cannot overstate its importance. The bill, as drafted by the National Bar Association and supported by the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., will help to prevent some of the unnecessary confrontations that occur when unarmed citizens- both Black and white- are being detained and arrested by law enforcement officers. While some have labeled these unfortunate encounters “Blue on Black Crimes”, and point to UVA student Martese Johnson as an example, facts demonstrate that around the country many whites and Hispanics have also encounter such incidents. The death of John Geer in Fairfax is one that is noted. These senseless deaths and encounters must stop. Between 2003 and 2009, 4,813 people died while in police custody or in the process of being arrested. [1] Proportionally, African-Americans and other minorities take a heavy toll in many of these incidents. However, it should be noted that whites too experience ill consequences while being arrested and are at risk of losing their lives. Deaths in the hands of law enforcement during the aforementioned time period totaled 2,026. In a study done in California in 2012, body cameras resulted in a 60% reduction in use of force, and an 88% decline in the number of complaints against officers. In closing, I urge you to support this legislation and to bring the powers of your office to bear. With your help, we can end this senseless violence and death at the hand of law enforcement. Our society and our judicial community is better than this and we must work together to end this vicious cycle of violence. Our communities are begging for your assistance. [1] Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics
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    Created by Fred Saffold
  • Accountability in Raleigh Policing
    On February 29th, a Raleigh police officer shot and killed Akiel Denkins, a 24-year-old man. His death highlights the urgent need for change in Raleigh policing but it was by no means an isolated incident. It's a culmination of a pattern of biased policing that targets black and brown communities and feeds a complex and profitable prison system. On a daily basis, the rights of people in the community where I grew up are constantly violated: tickets for jaywalking, getting stopped for walking down the street in your own neighborhood and getting asked where you’re going, the so-called smell of marijuana being used as an excuse to search your car. Just the other day someone shared with me that he was stopped for driving too slow, at first. Then the officer changed his story and interrogated him about drinking when this man doesn’t even drink. A young man who comes to my barber shop told me he got pulled over for speeding. He was then subjected to an undue search because the officer claimed to smell marijuana. The search yielded nothing. I was questioned and searched leaving my cousin’s house one night as part of an “on-going” investigation. Does that sound like policing in your neighborhood? It is the daily reality for many young people and people of color in Raleigh. • National studies show that black and white populations use marijuana at about the same rates; yet in Wake County where RPD is the largest law-enforcement agency, black people represent 67% of low-level marijuana arrests but only 21% of the population. • From 2010-2015, black drivers were 2.7 times more likely to be searched by police following a traffic stop but 10% less likely to have contraband. • From 2002-2013, black men under age of 30 were searched at a rate of about 7%, whereas white men were searched at a rate of 4%. As men of color age, the likelihood of being searched significantly decreases. We need common sense policy changes to stop tragedies like the use of force that took Akiel’s life but also the every day human rights violations common in our community.
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    Created by Alex Walton
  • Don't Prosecute #BlackLivesMatter Protestors
    On December 23, 2015, 9 #BlackLivesMatter members were arrested for taking part in non-violent direct action that briefly stalled traffic on the 405 freeway in order to lift up the names of Black people who have been killed by law enforcement. This was a part of a #BlackXmas synchronized action which occurred in 6 cities around the United States. ONLY IN LOS ANGELES are demonstrators facing felony charges…including felony conspiracy charges, typically used in political prosecutions. It is especially important on the eve of Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday and moving into Black History Month that we celebrate the tradition of non-violent protest not prosecute it.
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    Created by Melina Abdullah Picture
  • Fire Officer Frascatore -- history of excessive force, then attacks tennis star James Blake
    Former tennis star James Blake was tackled and violently slammed to the ground by Officer Frascatore of the New York City Police Department. Not only was he innocent, the crime the Officer thought he was responsible for — identity theft — in no way required violent policing. It’s a question that has to be asked: would the officer have tackled and slammed James Blake on the ground if he was a white Wall Street banker accused of a financial crime? But it turns out that this isn’t the first time that Officer Frascatore has done something like this. According to an investigation by WNYC, over a seven-month period of 2013, Officer Frascatore was the subject of five civilian complaints. He has also been named in two federal lawsuits — including for falsely arresting, beating, and pepper spraying a Queens man. He even once yanked open a car door during a traffic stop, punched the driver in the mouth, and then sued the driver for biting his fist! NYPD Commissioner William Bratton needs to fire Officer Frascatore immediately. James Blake hit the nail on the head when he said: “I don't think this person should ever have a badge or a gun again.” When officers like Frascatore are allowed to continue in their jobs despite a history of excessive force, it is sadly often just a matter of time before someone is seriously hurt or killed. What if James Blake had attempted to fight back against what he could easily have seen as an unprovoked attack, from a plainclothes officer with no visible badge or gun? James Blake was lucky -- after 15 minutes, he was released from handcuffs with cuts and bruises. And as a high-profile sports figure, he can tell his story to the world. But If this can happen to James Blake, what is happening every day to Black and brown New Yorkers who aren't as famous, and who end up injured, in jail, or even dead as a result of overpolicing? This has to stop -- Commissioner William Bratton needs to step it up and do whatever it takes to fix this over-policing epidemic. Demand that he take action, starting with firing Officer Frascatore and then conducting a review of all other officers with a documented history of excessive force.
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    Created by Keith Goodman
  • Stop Black Lives Matter activists from being monitored and attacked by NYPD
    The Black Lives Matter movement is working to dismantle structural and institutional racism and white supremacy. Unfortunately the police and the current criminal justice system serve and uphold these institutions. It is our duty and our right to demand accountability from our criminal justice system, and from the police that are supposed to protect and serve us, but instead terrorize, harm and kill us. We will not remain silent while police remain violent and we must protest in order to affect change.
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    Created by Terrea Mitchell
  • Justice for Sandra Bland
    Sandra Bland was days from starting a new job with her alma mater, Prairie View A&M University, when DPS Trooper Brian Encinia pulled her over, alleging she had failed to signal a lane change. The incident was so minor that Encinia was ready to end it with a written warning. But instead of giving her the warning and letting her go, in a split second Encinia became enraged that an African American woman dared exercise her rights. He then tried to pull her out of her car and threatened to taser her. “I’m going to light you up,” he said. Encinia then threw Bland to the ground and planted his knee on her back. She was arrested, and after spending three days in jail, she died in her cell. Bland's story of being targeted by police and treated inhumanely, unfortunately, is a familiar one with Texans of color. We don't have to tolerate this. We can fight back to get the police force we deserve. A police force that keeps us safe, not one that endangers our lives. A police force that keeps our streets safe, not one that pulls us over without cause, based solely on the color of our skin. A police force that treats us all equally. By signing this petition, you're engaging in the fight for the police force we need, that we deserve.
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    Created by Texas Organizing Project Picture
  • Release data about the McKinney Police Department's engagement of Black youth
    The videos from McKinney show Black youth clearly being targeted by police while white youth are left alone. We deserve to know from the City of McKinney if this is a longstanding police policy. This is important because this incident is one in a long line of incidents that continue to demonstrate that Black youth are routinely dehumanized in our society. Implicit bias and perceptions of Black youth directly impact they way that they are engaged. Because these youth were seen to not belong in the area, the officers did even attempt to engage them as residents or even guests but rather as intruders. This is evidenced by the fact that the teenager who filmed the incident was white and therefore was not engaged by the police at all - despite capturing the entire event on camera. We have seen in past, how these interactions can quickly turn deadly. The community can not begin to heal until these issues are exposed and confronted in a honest and transparent fashion.
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    Created by Ameen Olorunnimbe Picture
  • Release the 911 calls that prompted Corporal Casebolt’s response at the Craig Ranch Community Pool!
    This is important because this incident is one in a long line of incidents that continue to demonstrate that Black youth are routinely dehumanized in our society. Implicit bias and perceptions of Black youth directly impact they way that they are engaged. Because these youth were seen to not belong in the area, the officers did even attempt to engage them as residents or even guests but rather as intruders. This is evidenced by the fact that the teenager who filmed the incident was white and therefor was not engaged by the police at all - despite capturing the entire event on camera. We have seen in past, how these interactions can quickly turn deadly. The community can not begin to heal until these issues are exposed and confronted in a honest and transparent fashion.
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    Created by Teresa Maxwell
  • Release the 911 calls that prompted Corporal Casebolt’s response at the Craig Ranch Community Pool!
    This is important because this incident is one in a long line of incidents that continue to demonstrate that Black youth are routinely dehumanized in our society. Implicit bias and perceptions of Black youth directly impact they way that they are engaged. Because these youth were seen to not belong in the area, the officers did even attempt to engage them as residents or even guests but rather as intruders. This is evidenced by the fact that the teenager who filmed the incident was white and therefor was not engaged by the police at all - despite capturing the entire event on camera. We have seen in past, how these interactions can quickly turn deadly. The community can not begin to heal until these issues are exposed and confronted in a honest and transparent fashion.
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    Created by Teresa Maxwell
  • Protesters Are Not Criminals! Drop The Charges Against The Jacksonville 19
    On Monday December 8, 2014 during a national protest demanding justice for Eric Garner and Michael Brown, 19 activists and organizers in Jacksonville, FL (The Jacksonville 19) were arrested and charged with obstruction of traffic and were threatened with an egregious restitution fine. State officials in Florida join a sickening trend that is spreading across the nation, where protesters face harsh penalties for speaking out against police violence. From the 70k restitution charge against protesters in Oakland, CA (1) to a Baltimore protester who has a 500K bail (2), it becomes all too clear that our 1st amendment rights are under attack. We won't stand for it. And we need widespread public pressure to expose and stop State Attorney Angela Corey’s discriminatory and the outrageous attempts to profit off and punish the growing movement for Black liberation. Instead of working to end the discriminatory pattern of police violence that continues without pause, Angela Corey wants monetary reimbursement from those standing up for the inviolability of their lives. There’s something terribly wrong with this picture. How is it that protesters are being criminalized for speaking out against grave injustices and killer cops continue to walk free with no consequences for the lives they have stolen? The answer is simple. The entire criminal justice system is entrenched with discriminatory practices that further perpetuate white supremacy, which couldn’t be more true for the state of Florida who has struggled with decades and decades of racism and brutal violence against Black people. The Jacksonville 19 was arrested on December 8th, handcuffed, placed in a police cars, and driven to jail where they waited for four hours while State Attorney Angela Corey decided her plan with what to do with them. Now, State Attorney Corey has decided to harshly penalize 19 peaceful protesters with misdemeanor charges and high restitution fines for exercising their first amendment rights. This is not the first of State Attorney Corey’s abuses. Angela Corey tried to convict Christian Fernandez, a 12-year-old child, to a life time in prison; Angela Corey did not support the true judgment for Zimmerman in defense of Trayvon Martin and Angela Corey unjustly tried to convict Marissa Alexander with 60 years for defending herself in her home. This is a crisis of integrity in the Florida justice system that requires your intervention. This case is also the first time that a Jacksonville social change group comprised of organizers, mothers, students, and women are being charged and asked to pay restitution for an action calling for an end to discriminatory policing that severely impacts the lives of Black residents in Florida. We cannot allow the State Attorney to repeat this treacherous, autocratic Southern narrative model anymore. Florida has a long history of deep seated racism which has produced rampant brutal violence against Black people.The history of a young man, Jordan Davis, being shot at a gas station in Jacksonville in 2012 for playing his music too loud is an echo of white racist violence from 1960 when up to 200 members of the Ku Klux Klan carried ax handles, baseball bats and other kinds of clubs, threatening to organize citywide boycotts if the stores made an agreement to serve food to Black customers in downtown Jacksonville. The police stayed away until members of a group known as the Bomerangs began assisting the demonstrators. The Jacksonville 19 reflects the courage of that group, coming together to stand up for communities under attack. Let’s start by demanding that State Attorney Angela Corey, Mayor Lenny Curry, and Governor Rick Scott dismiss the charges against the Jacksonville 19! Shut it Down! Support the Jacksonville 19 during their trial and demand that Florida officials #DropTheCharges! This petition is also supported by: Burnpile Press, Veterans for Peace, Jacksonville, Chapter 174, Strengthen Our Sisters, Poor Peoples Economic Human Rights Campaign, Black Women's Lives Matter, Project South, Mad Moms, The CHESS Foundation, The New Jim Crow Movement - Jacksonville, Malcolm X Center for Self Determination, SCLC, Free Marissa Now (FMN), Black Lives Matter, Ferguson Actions, Southern Movement Alliance, and New South Network of War Resisters. References, 1) Bart Directors: When It Comes to Ending The War On Black Communities, Which Side Are You On?, 01-2015 http://bit.ly/1AfqfUG 2) Baltimore rioter slapped with $500k bail as cops charged in Freddie Gray murder walk free, 05-03-2015 http://bit.ly/1G88tsL
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    Created by Southern Movement Alliance
  • Hold the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Accountable, Demand Civilian Oversight WITH POWER!
    http://youtu.be/YBCfIs3YoGg On December 9th, 2014 our two plus year fight for civilian oversight erupted in an enormous victory for the Coalition to End Sheriff Violence, a project of Dignity and Power Now. On that day the supervisors voted 3-2 in support a civilian oversight commission. That was the first step. The next step is making sure that this commission is effective and not simply another department rubber stamp. Your support is necessary if we are going to push the county to create the most powerful model of oversight possible for Los Angeles. Spread across Los Angeles County are 8 facilities that make up the largest jail system in the world, run by the largest sheriff's department in the country. That very system has been the site of a long history of brutality against our loved ones being held in these facilities. In a county that is 9% Black, Black prisoners make up 30% of the county jail population, and almost 50% of the county jail population with a "serious mental health condition." The history has come to a head in Los Angeles where in the past three years the county has been shaped by three significant events. 1) Deep reaching exposure of patterns of "hyper violence" against our loved ones and a corrupt culture inside the department that has covered up these abuses. Story after story has revealed patterns of prisoners being beaten while restrained, physical attacks that continue after prisoners have lost consciousness, fractured bones, denial of medical care, and retaliation for filing complaints. Exposure of these widespread abuses took the form an ACLU class action lawsuit, a thorough and scathing year long investigation initiated by the county's Citizens' Commission on Jail Violence, a Department of Justice civil rights probe into the jails, an FBI investigation that has resulted in 18 indictments for corruption and abuse, and the courage of countless survivors of sheriff violence who have continued to come forward with their stories and have become leaders in this growing movement. This movement includes the Coalition to End Sheriff Violence which has brought together over 20 organizations across Los Angeles County with the leadership of formerly incarcerated people and their loved ones at the forefront. At the height of the exposure, it was found that 57% of use of force incidents in the jails were initiated be sheriff's deputies. The persistent exposure of the departments "force first" approach and the corruption that kept it hidden resulted in the formal resignation of Sheriff Baca. His resignation paved the way for a highly contested election where Jim McDonnell, one of the commissioners on the Citizens' Commission on Jail Violence, claimed the position as sheriff. While he has publicly stated that he is invested in reform, our communities cannot lay our faith, nor the fate, of our families solely in the hands of the department that for decades built a culture of unchecked abuse in the jails. 2) A groundswell of organizations and community members has built a movement to hold law enforcement in Los Angeles accountable. This heightened momentum comes at a time where communities around the country are pushing back against law enforcement misconduct, excessive and lethal force, and national trends in anti-Black state violence are being challenged. 3) The countywide demand for civilian oversight is a demand to break from the long history of unchecked law enforcement brutality hidden behind the walls of the county jails and taking place in our communities. For years, the sheriff's department denied the need for civilian oversight and even went so far as to claim that effective independent oversight "already existed." While the last few years have produced important reforms in the sheriff's department, including a new sheriff, the community has endured violence long enough. Without independent civilian oversight, there is no effective county body that is rooted in the voices of our families inside the jails. That voice, given the legal authority that independent oversight provides, is the only thing that will ensure that recent reforms become lasting deterrence against one of the most brutal jail operations in the country. Nationwide, from St. Louis and Newark to Salinas and Los Angeles, communities are moving their local governments to create independent civilian oversight bodies. Los Angeles is one of many county's where Black people are targets of law enforcement violence at alarming rates. Winning civilian oversight alone won't stop these abuses. However, a legally empowered oversight commission is a powerful means of securing the power and dignity of Black people across Los Angeles.
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    Created by Dignity and Power Now
  • #NoNewNYPD Petition
    We have calculated that with $100 million in many of these priority areas, we could accomplish the following: - $100 Million could be invested to employ 310,000 youth this summer. - $100 Million could be invested to hire 2,000 social workers or special education teachers. - $100 Million could be invested to provide 62,500 people in low-income households with free transportation. - $100 Million could be invested to increase resident association budgets by $281,437 in all 334 NYCHA buildings. Our communities are defining safety beyond policing. New York’s elected officials have the opportunity and duty to do the same. Communities of color are being systematically over-policed while also being displaced by rising rent and gentrification. Mayor de Blasio, Council Speaker Mark-Viverito and City Council -- We demand that you serve the best interests of the people and redirect the $100 million currently in the proposed budget for additional police, to programs that will make our communities stronger. For more information go to www.safetybeyondpolicing.com
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    Created by Safety Beyond Policing Campaign