• Help Not Handcuffs
    When the police respond to mental health crises, they do not keep us safe. Instead, they often escalate situations while negatively impacting community health across New Orleans communities. NOPD is not the proper institution to address most safety concerns, including mental health crises. There is no strategic way to train a police officer to respond to a mental health crisis with the same expertise that a professional mental healthcare provider would use to problem solve.
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  • #JusticeforZadok: Demand Justice For Matthew "Zadok" Williams
    Just eight days before the verdict that convicted Derek Chauvin, unidentified police officer(s) killed my brother, Matthew “Zadok” Williams in his own home moments after he asked the officers to identify themselves as he kneeled behind a piece of furniture. Like so many others, my brother was killed in broad daylight in his home. On April 12th, 2021, DeKalb County, Georgia police officers approached my brother and asked him to leave his own property. According to the police department, officers assumed that Zadok was a trespasser based on two 911 calls from a woman living in the condo behind Zadok’s condo. These calls have yet to be released. The police department has released some body camera footage and the media is only showing excerpts of the incident. We are calling on Chief Ramos to set an example by ending the secrecy that is rampant behind the blue line and promoting transparency. In the footage available, Zadok has a mental health crisis outside in an incident involving a knife after walking down his steps and being asked to leave his property. Zadok subsequently retreats into his home through an upstairs window. The police began to kick his door open. Once the door is breached, Zadok immediately kneels behind a cushioned piece of furniture to protect himself from gunshots as he tells the officers that he is defending his property and asks the officers to back up and speak to him through the doorway. Zadok is not a threat, and police begin talking to him telling him that he doesn’t have to die. The absurdity of the comment by officers at the scene reveals the culture of dehumanization that is deeply embedded in departments across the nation. A 911 call should not be synonymous with death for Black people. Instead of backing up and talking to Zadok from the doorway as he requested and helping him, police officers shot into his home and killed him while he was kneeling behind furniture. The officers and supervisor at the scene left him there for nearly an hour and a half to die. No medical aid was rendered and when SWAT teams and EMS arrived more than an hour after the shooting, my brother was subsequently pronounced dead. My family was notified nearly 24 hours after his death. Such an egregious disregard for my brother’s life speaks to the culture of policing in DeKalb County and across the country. Police officers are rarely held accountable for killing, harassing and assaulting Black people and my family is committed to doing everything in our power to ensure that these officers are held accountable and that other families in DeKalb County don’t have to endure what we have had to go through. It’s been a month since police officer(s) murdered my brother Matthew Zadok Williams, and the police officer(s) responsible still have not been held accountable. We don’t even know their full names. Zadok was a remarkable brother, uncle, and son, and he meant the world to our entire family. I strongly urge Police Chief Mirtha V. Ramos and Chief Executive Officer, Michael L Thurmond to hold the officers responsible for this ruthless action accountable and to provide my family with answers. Both Police Chief Ramos and CEO Thurmond have the authority to release all media related to Zadok’s murder, identify the officers to the public, and terminate the officers employment. We want these police officers to be held accountable. This is the first step towards true criminal justice reform here in DeKalb County. Sign the petition: Tell Police Chief Ramos and CEO Thurmond to terminate the employment of the officer(s) who killed my brother Zadok now! Update as of June 24th, 2021 The family has learned through various news outlets, including an article published by the Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC) on June 8, 2021, that Sergeant Devon Perry is the police officer who fired shots into Zadok's home. This fact was also confirmed after reviewing additional body cam footage released by Dekalb County. The bodycam footage shows that after Sgt. Devon Perry fired shots into Zadok's home, Sgt. Perry orders the police officers to back off. Sgt. Devon Perry walked off and left Zadok to die a slow painful death. No medical aid was rendered. In the hour and a half that follows, Sgt. Devon Perry can be heard admitting that Zadok did not lunge at him with a knife before he fired shots into Zadok’s home. Also, Sgt. Devon Perry's superior can be heard instructing Sgt. Perry through the phone that he has duty to render medical aid to Zadok. Yet, Sgt. Perry does not render medical aid. In fact, DCFR EMTs were already on the scene responding to a separate incident and inquired about rendering aid to Zadok. Sgt. Perry denies EMTs entry to the home. Police officers are heard laughing about Zadok bleeding out in the condo. Dekalb has released Statements indicating that their policy does not allow aid to be rendered until the scene is deemed safe. They say that bunkers were needed to enter Zadok’s condo after he was shot. However, no bunkers were needed when the police kicked his door open and shot him. The police deemed it safe to kick Zadok’s door in to shoot him but did not deem it safe to open Zadok’s door and render aid after they shot him. Dekalb’s reasons for failing to render aid to Zadok are, therefore, nonsensical. The family’s independent preliminary autopsy has revealed that Zadok would have survived if aid would have been rendered. SWAT and EMS arrived nearly an hour and a half later after Zadok was shot, and Zadok was subsequently pronounced dead. The family was notified 24 hours later. Zadok’s family is heartbroken. The family demands that Dekalb Police Chief Mirtha Ramos and Dekalb CEO Michael Thurmond terminate Sergeant Devon Perry's employment immediately or at the very least suspend Sgt. Perry pending formal termination proceedings.
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  • #Thirst4Justice: Call on MEMA to Validate the Water Crisis For Valuable Recovery Funding!
    For the past five weeks, I have endured the water crisis. Jackson is over 80% Black and we went without vital water access for weeks. While white folks in other counties had running water in their homes, I watched the direct impact that neglect has had on my community. Jackson’s water crisis is not only a health problem and an environmental problem -- it’s undeniably a race problem. Thousands of Black people have caught rain to flush the toilet and stacked cases of water to wash their hands and brush their teeth, while simultaneously trying to survive a global pandemic that disproportionately affects Black people. I’m starting this petition to ensure that my community gets the help they desperately need and deserve. The city of Jackson has a history of being disenfranchised in Mississippi. This isn’t the first time that we’ve been overlooked, and we need action. Join me in telling Stephen McCraney to do right by Jackson. My community demands continuous water testing to assess whether it is safe for consumption, proper damage assessments, and a long term plan in ensuring that water consumption is safe without the threat of a state takeover of the Jackson community. Stephen McCraney is the Executive Director of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and he has the power to speed up the process of assessing the damage to Jackson’s water system. Speeding up the process will secure important federal funding for our water systems recovery and help my community heal together. Sign this petition and tell McCraney to prioritize damage assessments in Jackson while providing resources that restore trust for Black Mississippians now!
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  • BLACK LIVES MATTER IN SMALL TOWNS TOO!
    This is important to me because I lived a complete near death experience at the hands of a police officer, he tried to kill me. This was so hurtful and traumatizing, I literally begged for my life. Hello, my name is Terry Williams and I have a story that should be told to the public I was shot on December,15th at the motel 6th on Victorian Avenue in Sparks, NV.  I tracked my lost Iwatch to that location. As I approached room (114) I noticed the door was slightly ajar but decided to knock on it anyway as I knocked  the door swung open and I saw several people in the room and one pointed a gun at me and shot me within 30 seconds of me arriving at the motel. I was in shock but my wife was in the car so I didn't want to return to the car for her safety. I looked up, saw surveillance cameras and walked around the building staying under the cameras. As I got to the end of the motel, limping and holding my fingers (I was shot in the stomach and hand) I turned and saw the same people coming in a car, they shot at me four more times. Just as they shoot I look across the street and see a Reno Police Officer.  When I see the officer I am relieved because I know he saw them shoot and would go after them but he did not. That confused me but I see him pull into the metro car wash where I am still relieved because I am going to get help quickly.  When I walk into the car wash the officer looks at me and pulls his truck to the ticket window, so I ask an employee am I hallucinating or dying or is that a police officer? The employee then told the officer, hey he is shot and needs help.  The officer got out of his truck and I sat on the curb now relieved because I could put my life in the officers hands and work on my breathing trying to stay calm because I have severe injuries. The officer asked me my name, date of birth, social security number which I gave to  him.  He returned to his truck and I assume entered my info into his computer (but maybe not) he then shut his truck door and got on his cell phone.  I yelled over to him my wife is still at the motel 6 across the street and the suspects left shooting at me four more times, please send someone over there because she could need medical or worse dead.  He got out of his truck and turned his back to me never saying a word or sending help for my wife.  I was so worried about her at the same time begging this officer to call the paramedics for me, at this point I have lost a lot of blood and realize I won't be able to hold on much longer.  I am now quite aware this officer is racist and going to let me bleed to death.  I ask one of the employees at the carwash do these surveillance cameras that are directly above me work? He said yes, and the officer smacked his lips. I was like omg he is going to let me die and has no intentions on helping me. I then asked one of the kids to call the paramedics but that agitated the officer and he demanded the kids to get against the wall.  Remember, I have no clue if my wife is dead or alive and he isn't sending help for either one of us.  My wife has been waiting for me for enough time that she starts to question where I am and why I haven't returned to the car. She doesn't see me so drives around the motel and spots me at the carwash. When she pulls in she jumps out of the car and asks what is going on because I am sitting on the curb and a police officer is standing over me.  First, I am relieved to see her alive and now I know I will get help because I am sure I am going to die.  I yell, I've been shot in the hand and stomach! Call the paramedics. She went crazy asking where's the ambulance? The officer tells her not to call saying he would.(admitting he hasn't called for help in over 30 minutes). I explain no you call. I've been sitting here with this officer this entire time begging him and asking him to call for help.So about 30 minutes later my wife called 911 after her call 5 minutes later the Sparks police, fire and ambulance arrived. The paramedics rushed over to me, cut my clothes off and transported me to Renown Medical Center. I was rushed to surgery with severe trauma to my hand and stomach.  The bullet shot my middle finger off as well as penetrated my stomach going through my urethra, bladder and prostate.  I woke up from surgery with a colostomy bag, and two urine bags. Two days later I had surgery on my hand. The doctor advised me there was a 90 percent chance he would need to amputate. The surgery went better than expected and they attached my finger with wires and poles but the outcome of the surgery is still unknown. This was a true life nightmare. First I am shot by complete strangers in the middle of the afternoon, then the person I think will help my wife and I tries to kill me. I have tried to obtain the police report, surveillance videos from the motel 6 and car wash to no avail. I was told the police report can't be released to me because the crime is still under investigation. I am the victim and question why I can't get a copy of my own case file.  They say because it's under investigation but if that is the case I will never get a copy because the detectives aren't even trying to solve the case.  I have only heard from them one time since the shooting.  My wife has texted them on many occasions asking the status of the case, she has yet to get a reply.  The car wash and motel 6 both say law enforcement has the video and I need to obtain a copy from them.  I called Reno Police Department and asked for the report number from their department (after all the Reno Officer was first on the scene). I was told that they didn't have a case number because Sparks Police took over.  I was like ok what is the Reno Officers name he said he didn't have that info either but hopefully it is in the Sparks report. So now 30 days after the crime I am unable to get the officer's name, my police report, any video's or help exposing this brutal officer.  He needs to be made accountable for his actions.
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  • #ReimagineChildSafety: Get Cops Out of Child Protective Services
    The child welfare system traumatizes children and rips families apart. Far from helping, law enforcement only makes things worse. Their partnership must end now. Los Angeles County is home to the largest locally-run foster care system in the country, run by the Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS). The system disproportionately targets Black, Brown, and Indigenous children for surveillance and removal, actions that, even when well-intentioned, terrorize and traumatize families of color. While Black children are 10% of LA County’s population, they represent 40% of the young people in the child welfare system. DCFS works in direct partnership with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and LA Sheriff’s Department (LASD). Approximately 25% of DCFS referrals come from law enforcement. DCFS and law enforcement agencies work together to enter homes and remove children. Police presence during DCFS investigations further traumatizes children and escalates the situation. Removing law enforcement from the child welfare system is the first step to curb the racist practices that break up families of color. We must demand an end to systems that separate families instead of supporting them. The REIMAGINE CHILD SAFETY campaign is supported by: Black Lives Matter LA; ACLU of Southern California; Alliance for Children’s Rights; Black Los Angeles Young Democrats; Dignity & Power Now; JusticeLA; La Defensa; Los Angeles Dependency Lawyers; Movement for Family Power; National Coalition for Child Protection Reform; Public Counsel; The RightWay Foundation; Trans Lifeline; and White People 4 Black Lives.
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  • STOP DIRTY S.F. CITY ATTORNEY TAKING $25mm from Black Landlord
    in the past, BLACKS could NOT own Property. Then, when the laws appeared to change, the BANKS RED-LINED Ownership. Now - the City Governments are Creating FALSE CASES to take BLACK PROPERTY OWNERS and ILLEGALLY TAKING their Properties. In the case of Ms. Kihagi, the smear campaign that represented her as Black Slumlord is so far from the truth. Yet - knowing most people would NOT get past that PR Machine - the City derailed the Truth. The San Francisco City Attorney made more than 20 misrepresentations to the Court with full knowledge of the actual facts. This is total abuse of power - and should be stopped! In fact, the TRUE MOTIVE for such conduct was to RACIAL DERAIL a successful, black landlord. More than $25million is at stake. It is clear that the 2 major cases in San Francisco have been against successful, BLACK Landlords - is this a Coincidence? They spent over 70% of their resources fighting one lone, black landlord and lied to the public that she was a slumlord. Yet the BUILDINGS are in better condition than 90% of S.F. Condo. EYES DON'T LIE. STOP DIRTY CITY ATTORNEYS - see more articles at annekihagisf.com
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  • I could lose my scholarship
    On September 25th, I, Ashanti Scott, along with my mother, Representative Attica Scott, Shameka Parrish-Wright, and other protestors and students were wrongfully arrested. We were arrested while seeking refuge in a nearby church after protesting the immense injustice served in Breonna Taylor’s case. Not only were we grossly overcharged, but we were inexcusably and wrongfully arrested. My mother, a fierce advocate who so believed in justice for Breonna Taylor that she wrote and introduced Breonna’s Law to curb unlawful entry and criminalization. As a result, she was targeted by the Louisville Police Department and so was I in a retributive attempt for justice. As a result, we have been facing a Class D felony among other misdemeanors - charges that have threatened my scholarship and financial aid. As a University of Louisville student, I am so appreciative of fellow students and the student government association standing by me, my family, and the other advocates. Because of their support, yesterday, we received news that the Class D felony charges were dropped -- but the misdemeanor charges were not. More still needs to be done and I need your support in ensuring I don’t lose my ability to continue my studies. Therefore, I not only demand all charges against my fellow students, elected representatives, and other protestors are dropped immediately; but that the University of Louisville understands the bogus nature of these charges and allows me to retain my higher education funding. As you stand with me in this fight to honor Breonna Taylor’s life and achieve racial equity in our community, please know that I appreciate not having to carry this burden of wrongful felony charges alone. Please let the University of Louisville know that it has the opportunity to stand on the right side of this moment by allowing me to continue my studies.
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  • Stop Shackling Incarcerated Pregnant People in Michigan
    We are demanding the rights of pregnant women and people incarcerated in Women's Huron Valley Facility, Michigan’s only women’s prison as well as all jails and lock up facilities in Michigan. Senate bills 830, 831 and 1152 prevent pregnant women and people from being shackled during transport while laboring, and allow them to provide breastmilk for their babies. We are fighting for the prevention of further harm and trauma to people already experiencing inhumane conditions of incarceration, as well as outside oversight of Women’s Huron Valley, which has been chronically overcrowded for years. These bills would require the use of medical and psychological best practices to improve the standards of care for incarcerated pregnant and postpartum women and people in Michigan prisons and jails. MI Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee Members: Peter J. Lucido (R) Chair Curtis S. VanderWall (R) Majority Vice Chair Tom Barrett Ruth Johnson Jim Runestad Stephanie Chang (D) Minority Vice Chair Jeff Irwin (D)
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  • PETITION: Green Bay Alderman Chris Wery Should Resign for Inviting Extremists to the City
    The same day a 17-year-old white extremist killed two Black Lives Matter protestors and injured another in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Green Bay Alderman Chris Wery called upon “all our patriots to defend our great city” of Green Bay. Alderman Wery’s words were a blatant invitation to bring domestic terrorists into our community. Wery’s Facebook post was disturbingly similar to the language used in a Facebook post by the Kenosha Guard, the white extremist group who invited 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse to Kenosha. The Kenosha Guard’s post called for: “Any patriots willing to take up arms and defend our city…?” Facebook has since removed the Kenosha Guard’s page for inciting violence—after Rittenhouse killed two people and injured a third. Alderman Wery’s dangerous and irresponsible rhetoric puts at risk the lives of Green Bay community members, especially Black, Indigenous, and people of color. As an elected official, we look to Alderman Wery to protect and represent all of us, no matter our race, color, creed, religion, or where we live. Wery’s dangerous and insensitive comments are the final straw in his long career of using his elected position to fan racism in Green Bay. Enough is enough. Language has consequences. We need to hold people accountable for the racist violence they promote. Language that incites violence has no place in our community. Please join the Greater Green Bay community in demanding Alderman Wery’s resignation. Contact: Green Bay Alderman Chris Wery 920-490-9282 district8@greenbaywi.gov
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  • Justice for the Bruce Family
    UPDATE: On Tuesday, April 6th, the Manhattan Beach City Council voted against issuing a public apology to the Bruce Family for the unjust taking of their land in 1924 due to them being Black and bringing together Black patrons in Manhattan Beach. During a March 16th city council meeting, Mayor Suzanne Hadley said in response to the apology, “We do not want to ignore the past but we do not want it embroidered in a scarlet ‘R’ upon our chest,” later saying “I hear all of you who want an apology... I’m not litigious, I have not contributed to decades of case law around a single word. My hands are clean. But that word is a club that we can be handing to people to beat us with.” The majority of public comments and letters sent in during the council meeting showed support for a public apology. Still, the city council voted in favor of not apologizing, passing 4-1. Despite all of the voices who showed up to support the apology, despite the importance of an apology for reparative measures and true acknowledgment of harm done, the city of Manhattan Beach and its council members decided to recommit to racism and anti-Blackness with their own votes. When something as simple as an apology cannot be given, we have to ask ourselves “why?” And “who does this benefit?” We know that communities protect one another by voting in favor of repairing relationships and histories, yet Manhattan Beach refuses to condemn racism, to apologize for its racist past, or to acknowledge the ways in which racism and white supremacy continue to show up in Manhattan Beach today. Black joy, Black pain, Black experiences deserve a place in this community who has now, for almost 100 years, made intentional efforts to silence and erase us. We will stay put until the work is done. Until there is restitution for years of civil and human rights violations against the Bruce family, and restoration and return of their land. Original message: Manhattan Beach owes the Bruce family much more than an apology. Once the owners of one of the few thriving beach resorts that Black Angelenos were allowed to patronize in the early 1900s, Willa and Charles Bruce were not only subjected to escalating racist attacks from the city’s local Klu Klux Klan, but were eventually forced off their land by Manhattan Beach’s own Board of Trustees. Although the Board of Trustees claimed at the time that they needed the land to build a park, we know the real reason the Bruces lost their land. From Tulsa to Forsyth County, Black people’s attempts to build economic security for themselves in this country have been haunted by white terrorist violence. The land that the Bruces were forced off is no different, and represents just a tiny fraction of the nearly 11 million acres of land that Black people once had, but lost, due to fraud, deception and outright violence during the Jim Crow era. Now, after a recent acknowledgment from the Manhattan Beach City Council of the injustice the Bruce family has faced at the hands of the city for generations, some residents are proposing that a boutique hotel be constructed on the land as a form of restitution. That’s not right. That’s why Justice for Bruce's Beach is partnering with Black Lives Matter to let Manhattan Beach City Council know that if they want to rectify the harms of the past, they must meet the full demands of Manhattan Beach’s Black residents for restoration, restitution and reparations today. The Bruces’ land and business should have been the foundation of their family’s ability to build wealth, and to take care of themselves and each other. Instead, it became a source of riches for others. Not only did the city of Manhattan Beach take the Bruces’ land in order to preserve the neighborhood’s whiteness, but they vastly underpaid them and other Black property owners like them for the value of the land and the businesses that were taken from them. Today, with Manhattan Beach’s inflated and unaffordable housing, Black people make up just about 0.8% of the city’s population. That’s why the proposals for the construction of a boutique hotel that will likely remain out of the reach of most of its Black residents as a form of restitution for the city’s history of violence is a slap in the face. The fact is, Manhattan Beach won't be able to make amends for its racist past without restoring the land back to the Bruces, paying the Bruces restitution and paying reparations to its Black residents for blatantly discriminating against our community and making it impossible for us to own land in the area. Now more than ever, institutions like the Manhattan Beach City Council need to make good on their commitment to Black communities, and we’re starting by demanding that they meet our residents’ full demands for restoration restitution and reparations today. As protests against police violence continue, more and more institutions are coming out with statements to denounce racism. Many of those institutions are the exact same ones who have orchestrated the erosion of Black wealth and property for decades, if not centuries. Sign now to let Manhattan Beach City Council that fighting for racial justice is so much more than an anti-racism statement. It requires dedication and action behind those words. Declaring support of Black people isn’t enough and task forces and modified street signs won’t pacify us. If the city council truly believes Black lives matter, it must meet the full demands of its Black and Indigenous constituents for restoration, restitution and reparations in Manhattan Beach immediately. Thank you, Kavon Ward Founder, Justice for Bruce's Beach Chief Duane ‘Yellow Feather’ Spokesman and Historian for The Bruce Family Patrisse Cullors Co-Founder, Black Lives Matter Ronald Clinton Co- Founder, MBUSD Community Panel for Equity (MB4E)
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  • No Fines for Freedom of Speech
    The Village of Ashwaubenon mailed Hannah Lundin an invoice for nearly $800.00 for suggesting on social media that people gather on July 14th to show support for the Black Lives Matter (“BLM”) movement. Ashwaubenon compared the protest to the Cellcom Marathon and the Bellin Run and said someone had to pay for it. The protest was peaceful and no one was cited for anything. This action is a clear violation of the First Amendment and a deliberate effort to prevent any future BLM protests in the Village. The protest cost the city nothing, yet they singled out someone to pay. This was not an invoice – it was an illegal fine and a clear message to anyone else who may wish to take their political voices to Ashwaubenon. In the invoice letter, Ashwaubenon stated its commitment to First Amendment Rights and combatting racism. Let them know that charging citizens to express their views shows anything but a commitment to free speech and promoting racial equality. Who to contact: President Mary Kardoskee Village of Ashwaubenon 2410 South Ridge Road Green Bay, WI 54304 Phone: 920.492.2301 mkardoskee@ashwaubenon.com Commander Nick Kozloski Department of Public Safety 2155 Holmgren Way Ashwaubenon, WI 54304 nkozloski@ashwaubenon.com Phone: 920.492.2995 Fax: 920.492.2986 Ashwaubenon residents! Also contact your village trustee here: https://ashwaubenon.com/government/departments/administration/boards-committees/village-board/
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  • End deadly policies at the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office
    John Neville was murdered by five Forsyth County Sheriff's Deputies. He was brutally and inhumanely hog tied and restrained with a knee to the back. As Mr. Neville pleaded for his life and informed the staff that he could not breathe, they joked and laughed, but did not render help. Had the policies listed above been in place, Mr. Neville would be alive today. Sheriff Bobby Kimbrough has an obligation to manage a safe facility. He must make the reforms necessary to insure that all people in his custody are treated fairly, humanely and safely.
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