• Demand UN Intervention Now: Stop the War on Black People!
    Trayvon Martin. Mike Brown. Aiyana Jones. Eric Garner. Tanisha Anderson. John Crawford. Tarika Wilson. Tamir Rice. And now Tony Robinson. Law enforcement and racist vigilantes are killing unarmed Black youth at an alarming rate--one every 28 hours (1)--and are getting away with it. Not only are officials in cities such as Ferguson, New York, Cleveland, and Beavercreek refusing to hold discriminatory and violent police accountable, the United States Department of Justice has failed to issue indictments for killer cops who take innocent lives (2). With nowhere else to turn, it is now up to us to take matters to the next level in order to stop the brutal killings of our families and loved ones. On March 6, 2015, 19-year-old Tony Robinson was shot five times and killed by Officer Matt Kenny in a stairwell at a friend’s apartment. Tony’s friend called the police seeking help for his friend, who was allegedly jumping in and out of traffic. However, instead of helping him, Officer Kenny broke into the apartment and fatally shot him five times (3). It was not the first time Kenny had killed (4). This was not just the fault of a single ‘bad apple,’ it is part of a systemic problem in the greater Madison area, where Black people confront some of the highest rates of structural racism and inequity in the United States. According to the ground breaking Race to Equity report, the Black unemployment rate in Dane County, Wisconsin is 25.2%, compared to 4.8% for Whites and the median income for Blacks is less than ⅓ that of Whites (5). Most alarming is the excessive policing of Black youth in the area, which fuels racially motivated incarceration in jails and prison. Black youth are 10% of the youth in Dane county, but almost 80% of all imprisoned adolescents. In addition, Black people are just 4.8% of adults in the County, but 44% of new jail inmates, the greatest racial incarceration disparity in the entire country (6). Madison is America. Over the last year, a series of police killings of unarmed Black youth has been met by a series of non-indictments by local officials (7). And while some are calling for a federal investigation, the harsh reality is that we cannot rely on the feds to deliver justice. Justice Department investigations are led by the FBI, an organization with it’s own deep history of racial profiling and abuses of power that virtually never result in murder indictments(8). Law enforcement kill Black Americans at nearly the same rate as Jim Crow Era lynchings and the justice system is unable to keep our communities safe from state-sanctioned violence(9). That’s why we are calling on the United Nations and the Organization of American States (OAS) to launch an independent investigation into the murder of Tony Robinson and racial disparities in Madison, WI, particularly the way police are used as an occupying force in Black communities. However, because they only go where they are wanted, the UN and OAS will only investigate if there is significant support for their intervention. We need your help to show the UN and OAS that we want and need an independent investigation into the death of Tony Robinson and the gross racial disparities in Madison, WI. In the final campaign of his life, Malcolm X argued that “we need to expand the civil-rights struggle to a higher level — to the level of human rights,” and urged people to take the issue of oppression, exploitation, discrimination and police brutality to the United Nations. The Young, Gifted and Black Coalition, Freedom, Inc. and want to pick up where Malcolm X left off. Join the fight for human rights by calling for an independent UN investigation. REFERENCES 1. “Operation Ghetto Storm” report by the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, 11-2014, http://www.operationghettostorm.org/uploads/1/9/1/1/19110795/new_all_14_11_04.pdf 2. “Why it's Impossible to Indict a Cop,” The Nation magazine, 11-24-2014, http://www.thenation.com/article/190937/why-its-impossible-indict-cop# 3- 4. “Will Wisc. stay peaceful after cop kills unarmed teen?” CBS News 03-08-2015, http://www.cbsnews.com/news/tony-robinson-shooting-protests-unarmed-black-teen-wisconsin/ 5-6. “Race to Equity Plenary Report,” Race to Equity 02-06-2015, http://racetoequity.net/dev/wp-content/uploads/Race-to-Equity-Plenary-Session-PDF.pdf 7. “Garner, Brown Decision Spark Calls for Grand Jury Reform,” U.S. News & World Report 12-12-2014, http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2014/12/12/after-eric-garner-michael-brown-decisions-calls-for-grand-jury-reform 8. “The FBI COINTELPRO Program and The Fred Hampton Assassination,” The Huffington Post 12-03-2013, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/g-flint-taylor/the-fbi-cointelpro-progra_b_4375527.html 9. “Mike Brown’s shooting and Jim Crow lynchings have too much in common. It’s time for America to own up” The Guardian 08-25-2014, http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/aug/25/mike-brown-shooting-jim-crow-lynchings-in-common
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  • A danger to Black lives: #StopMcCulloch
    St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch is the prosecutor who was supposed to make sure Officer Darren Wilson faced justice for killing Mike Brown. Instead, he acted in bad faith and rigged the process to protect Wilson and prevent justice. We cannot allow this type of discrimination and corruption to continue without consequence in Missouri’s justice system. It’s time to demand that a special prosecutor investigate McCulloch’s outrageous, unethical, and potentially illegal conduct, and hold Darren Wilson accountable for the murder of Mike Brown. Missouri law allows for a special prosecutor to investigate when elected officials knowingly or willingly fail to fulfill their public duties. A group of concerned community members and I have filed a petition now before St. Louis Circuit Court Judge Joseph Walsh to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Bob McCulloch, but he will likely only do so with widespread public pressure.1 Take action today urging Judge Walsh to appoint a special prosecutor today. McCulloch could have decided to arrest and prosecute Darren Wilson the day he killed Mike Brown. But instead, as is all to common when the victim is Black and the killer is a police officer, McCulloch convened a grand jury for political cover – and did everything he could to make sure they choose not to bring charges against Wilson.2 The list of McCulloch’s errors is long. McCulloch and his team gave the grand jury unconstitutional guidance on police use of force. They presented testimony favoring Officer Wilson that was known to be perjury, such as Sandra McElroy, an avid racist who drove to Canfield drive in order to “understand the Black race better so I stop calling Blacks N****** and Start calling them People.”3 McCulloch also allowed Wilson to defend himself to the grand jury in a way that’s not usually allowed. And prosecutors failed to challenge significant contradictions and inconsistencies between Wilson’s testimony, his earlier statements to police, and the physical evidence. The grand jury was a sham. In practice, prosecutors can usually get a grand jury to file whatever charges they want – there’s an expression that a prosecutor could get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich. But McCulloch didn’t even ask the grand jury to file charges against Wilson – he simply gave them a lot of evidence and asked them to make their own decision. Legal experts across the country said it was outrageous.4 As we all know, no charges were filed against Wilson, and instead of taking responsibility for this, McCulloch can just say “it was the grand jury’s decision.” Join us in demanding that McCulloch face accountability for engineering this miscarriage of justice. As long as McCulloch remains in office with no oversight, the lives of Black Missourians are in grave danger. McCulloch’s history is clear: he is unable to hold law enforcement that abuse and kill Black residents accountable. In 2001, McCulloch failed to charge two police officers that killed unarmed Earl Murray and Ronald Beasley in a storm of 21 bullets, later calling the victims "bums" at a press conference. 5 Since Mike Brown was killed, Kajieme Powell, VonDerrit Myers and Antonio Myers were fatally shot by police in the St. Louis area. And nationwide, countless other Black loved ones have been lost to the systemic crisis of discriminatory police violence. A new racial justice movement to end these tragic killings is growing stronger each day. And freedom requires a complete overhaul of the justice system’s business as usual--starting with McCulloch. References 1. "Activists Seek Investigation Of How McCulloch Handled Grand Jury" St. Louis Public Radio 01-16-2015 http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/activists-seek-investigation-how-mcculloch-handled-grand-jury 2. "Ferguson tragedy becoming a farce," Washington Post 09-12-2014 http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/dana-milbank-ferguson-tragedy-becoming-a-farce/2014/09/12/e52226ca-3a82-11e4-9c9f-ebb47272e40e_story.html 3. "Why won't McCulloch charge Witness #40 with perjury? Time for a special prosecutor, new grand jury," Daily Kos 12-19-14 http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/12/19/1353052/-Under-pressure-St-Louis-prosecutor-Bob-McCulloch-admits-he-called-witnesses-who-were-lying# 4. "Experts Blast Ferguson Prosecutor’s Press Conference, Legal Strategy," ThinkProgress 10-25-14 http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2014/11/25/3596884/ferguson-legal-experts/ 5. "St. Louis prosecutor has faced controversy for decades," St. Louis Today 08-16-2014
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  • BART Directors: When it comes to ending the war on Black communities, which side are you on?
    Across the country, hundreds of thousands of people have made a resolution to fight for Black lives. Now, businesses, police departments, and other government agencies are trying to make us pay. Sign the petition, then take a selfie of yourself holding a sign that says, “Not one dime” or “We’ve already paid with our lives” and tweet it to @SFBart on Twitter. On Black Friday, November 28, 2014, in response to a call to action from the Black community of Ferguson, Missouri, a team of 14 members of the #BlackLivesMatter network, dubbed the Black Friday 14, joined hundreds of thousands of others nationwide using civil disobedience to protest a discriminatory pattern of police and vigilante violence that has taken too many Black lives – including, most recently, the lives of Michael Brown, Aiyana Stanley-Jones, Tamir Rice, Tanisha Anderson, Antonio Martin, and Eric Garner.(1) Instead of citing and releasing protesters, or charging them with the same minor infraction applied to the thousands of multiracial allies that have blocked busses, trains, and traffic -- the Alameda County Deputy District Attorney has capitulated to aggressive pressure from the BART Board of Directors to apply a harsher penalty, that of misdemeanor criminal trespass, which requires these 14 protesters to pay tens of thousands of dollars -- up to 70,000 -- in “restitution” to BART. The BART Board of Directors claims they are owed payment for lost fares on Black Friday 2014, but for decades the Bay Area Rapid Transit system has cost local Black communities our homes, jobs, safety, and even our lives. Who will pay for that? In the 1950’s, Eminent Domain was used to displace Black businesses and homes along the once vibrant Black community of 7th street to build the BART system. (2) More recently, BART police have recklessly endangered and stolen Black lives. In January 2014, BART police attacked and tasered an unarmed Black man twice, then dragged him off the train. (3) In March, BART police beat and arrested Nubia Bowe, a 19-year old student and a Black woman suspected of dancing on the train; and in September BART police slammed a Black woman to the ground and charged her with resisting arrest. (4) (5) On January 1st, 2009, BART Police shot and killed Oscar Grant, a 24-year-old unarmed Black man. (6) Since then, BART police officers have taken little to no corrective action, joining police departments and their representatives across the nation in escalating a war against Black communities instead. (7) Now, as justice-seeking people sing out on every street corner "which side are you on?" the Bay Area Rapid Transit is targeting courageous Black people who put their bodies on the line to fight for their lives, and unjustly fining them thousands of dollars for exercising their constitutional right to free speech. We won't stand for it. And we need widespread public pressure to expose and stop BART's discriminatory and 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, the BART Board of Directors wants financial compensation from those fighting for the sanctity of their lives. There’s something terribly wrong with this picture. This isn’t the first time BART has been targeted for its crimes -- but it is the first time an all Black group comprised of organizers, mothers, students, queers and women are being charged and asked to pay restitution for an action calling for an end to the war on Black lives. We cannot allow the BART Board of Directors to set this dangerous, undemocratic precedent. References: 1. Breaking: Black Lives Matter Protesters Shut Down BART at West Oakland Station, 11-28-14 http://goo.gl/ibbgis 2. Eminent Domain in West Oakland, http://goo.gl/e8Snd6 3. Depressing video: Black Man Tased and Dragged Off BART , 02-10-14 http://goo.gl/L3N1wn 4. BART police arrest, assault young woman for riding train while black, 04-29-14 http://goo.gl/e2jhYz 5. VIDEO: BART Police Officer Slams Woman to Floor, Incident Captured on Video, 09-05-14 http://goo.gl/V3OcB9 6. Oscar Grant’s Mother: ‘We Have to Be Relentless in the Vindication of Our Slain Sons’, 08-26-14 http://goo.gl/GQSjeX 7. BART Director: Cell Phone Shutdown Didn't Go Through Proper Channels, 08-11-13 http://goo.gl/4JEnTy
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  • Justice for Dontre: Demand Federal Charges!
    On April 30, 2014, my brother Dontre Hamilton was shot 14 times and killed by Milwaukee Police Officer Christopher Manney. After almost eight months of foot-dragging, District Attorney John Chisholm refused to indict Manney. Eight months of mourning while working day and night to demand justice for my brother. Eight months of demonstrations on the streets, in City Hall, and at the park where my brother was killed. To make the non-indictment even worse, Chisholm announced it on December 22, in direct violation of our family's request that he not do it right before the holidays. The Milwaukee police department and District Attorney's office failed to release any evidence supporting the officer’s claims that my brother was a threat. Photos of Christopher Manney showed no indication of injury. It only proves to us that Dontre’s death was unjustified and totally preventable. This unbearable situation has led me to fight for justice for Dontre, who deserves to rest in peace with the truth revealed. No officer should be above the law, especially when he violates policy and procedures over and over again. Christopher Manney had a history of complaints against him for excessive force before he killed Dontre Hamilton. [1] If the local DA refused to consider this, then we need the federal government to step in. We cannot stand for injustice. Police violence doesn't just hurt one individual or family. When the community lives in fear of the police, good police work is impossible. The Coalition for Justice is organized to end this pattern of injustice in Milwaukee. Our mission is to inspire courage and build a movement to transform the city of Milwaukee. We support the empowerment of marginalized communities and dismantling of systems of oppression that erode community trust, dignity, and agency. By focusing on racial and social justice we hope to create innovative and sustained solutions that make our communities safer and equitable places to live. It is our goal to build alliances among community organizations and mobilize people dedicated toward the fight for justice. Join us in demanding federal action in this miscarriage of justice. Let's empower ourselves by having a voice. Help support the cause against police brutality and laws that protect the Police when they take a life unjustly. We also seek donations in any form to move ahead in getting justice for Dontre and help those who get arrested for protesting. https://www.crowdrise.com/coalitionforjustice-bailfund/fundraiser/thecaolitionforjusti One Love in One Nation is the goal. Lets reach this together. References 1. "Officer Manney: Six citizen complaints filed against him in his 13 years," Fox6 News, 10-22-14, http://fox6now.com/2014/10/22/officer-manney-six-citizen-complaints-filed-against-him-in-his-13-years/ Photo credit: Joe Brusky Stay in Touch with the Coalition for Justice! Like us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/justicefordontre Follow us on Twitter @justice4dontre and Instagram @thecoalition4justicemke
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  • Blackout For Human Rights: The time for action is NOW! #BlackoutBlackFriday
    Why is this important? BLACKOUT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS (Blackout) is a nationwide network of high profile artists, activists and faith leaders, who stand against human rights violations. We’ve watched in outrage, frustration and sadness as Michael Brown, Akai Gurley, Oscar Grant, Tanisha Anderson, Eric Garner, Ezell Ford, John Crawford, and so many others met their deaths at the hands of police officers. We mourn the loss of life and the absence of justice for Trayvon Martin, Renisha McBride and Jordan Davis, killed by private citizens, in a climate where police action demonstrates this as acceptable. Blackout for Human Rights (Blackout) is our collective decision to meet this devastation with positive energy and empowerment. We must stand up together to fight these injustices and correct the power imbalance that keeps so many of us from having a fair shot. On Monday, a St. Louis Grand Jury failed to indict police officer Darren Wilson for the killing of Mike Brown. Brave community members across the country took to the streets to organize and express their legitimate moral outrage at the devastating decision and corrupt, discriminatory justice system that failed Brown and fails all Americans—in the worst of ways—every single day. An affront to any citizen’s human rights threatens the liberty of all. So, we participate in one of the most time honored American traditions: dissent. We demand an immediate end to the brutal treatment and inhumane killings of our loved ones; the lives of our friends, our parents and our children have value and should be treated with respect. Our human rights are secured not only by our humanity, but are protected both federally and internationally by the Constitution of the United States of America and the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Similarly, we stand in solidarity with Walmart workers in demanding that working Americans earn enough to live our lives with dignity. The fights for civil rights and economic justice are two branches of the same tree. As Dr. King once said, “What good is having the right to sit at a lunch counter if you can’t afford to buy a hamburger?” Everyday, millions of parents fear for their children, worried that they’ll be the next victims of police brutality, while millions of parents must also worry about finding the next meal for their children. In an effort to stand up against human rights violations in America, we’re working with ColorOfChange and other organizations to build a powerful network. We’re inspired by the thousands of people across the country who speak truth to power and stand up to demand a better life and treatment that respects our basic humanity. We are making Black Friday (November 28, 2014) a nationwide day of action and retail boycott. Our movement is too powerful to stop at the bare minimum. As a nation, we must demand better, dignified lives for all of us. If enough of us act together, it will change the conversation around human rights and economic justice. We have the power to make a difference and ignite change. Join Blackout for Human Rights on #BlackoutBlackFriday. Don’t spend: take action. Your dollars matter and so does your voice. Will you join us? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9u2gjGuwxIk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bl_-Jv89vS8
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  • Justice for Dontre Hamilton: Hold the Milwaukee Police Department accountable!
    On April 30, 2014, my brother Dontre Hamilton was shot 14 times and killed by Milwaukee Police Officer Christopher Manney. Six months have passed and my family is still waiting for the investigation into his murder to be done and for legal action to be taken. The police department and District Attorney's office have failed to release any evidence supporting the officer’s claims that my brother was a threat. We the family, along with our attorneys, have seen pictures of Christopher Manney that show no indication of injury. It only proves to us that Dontre’s death was unjustified and totally preventable. This unbearable situation has led me to fight for justice for Dontre, who deserves to rest in peace with the truth being revealed. No officer should be above the law, especially when he violates policy and procedures over and over again. Christopher Manney had a history of complaints against him for excessive force before he killed Dontre Hamilton. [1] We cannot stand for injustice. The time for unity has come. Police violence doesn't just hurt one individual or family. When the community lives in fear of the police, good police work is impossible. The Coalition for Justice is organized to end this pattern of injustice in Milwaukee. Our mission is to inspire courage and build a movement to transform the city of Milwaukee. We support the empowerment of marginalized communities and dismantling of systems of oppression that erode community trust, dignity, and agency. By focusing on racial and social justice we hope to create innovative and sustained solutions that make our communities safer and equitable places to live. It is our goal to build alliances among community organizations and mobilize people dedicated toward the fight for justice. Join us in changing Milwaukee. Let's empower ourselves by having a voice. Help support the cause against police brutality and laws that protect the Police when they take a life unjustly. We seek donations in any form to move ahead in getting justice for Dontre and other families that lost someone to an unlawful hand and creating change throughout our community. One Love in One Nation is the goal. Lets reach this together. References 1. "Officer Manney: Six citizen complaints filed against him in his 13 years," Fox6 News, 10-22-14, http://fox6now.com/2014/10/22/officer-manney-six-citizen-complaints-filed-against-him-in-his-13-years/ Stay in Touch with the Coalition for Justice! Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/justicefordontre Follow us on Twitter @justice4dontre and Instagram @thecoalition4justicemke
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  • FL GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATES: How will you end youth criminalization?
    Florida is home to some of the worst policing practices in the country. Described as "New York City stop-and-frisk on steroids," Miami Gardens Police have stopped and questioned more than half of the city's population, thousands of them kids, some of them as young as 5 deemed "reasonably suspicious" while playing outside. (1) Often, unjust police stops turn violent and deadly. Florida also leads the country in youth criminalization. Second only to Texas in the highest number of private prisons, Florida's entire youth prison system is privatized. Every day, Black and brown teens targeted by a deeply racist and discriminatory criminal justice system are forced to face abuse, torture, and neglect at the hands of private companies. (2) We don't want to live in a world where you have to put a bullet proof vest on your child in fear of fatal police or vigilante violence. We must take action to address this devastating criminalization targeting Black and brown Florida youth. Florida's important Governor election is fast approaching and our state's next leadership must be committed to addressing these key issues facing our communities. On October 21st, Gov. Scott and former Gov. Charlie Crist will hold a debate, and moderators Jake Taper and Kent Justice are will have an opportunity to clarify the candidates position on Florida's for-profit prisons and systemic police violence. During last week's debate, we succeeded at garnering enough widespread public pressure to ensure that candidates were asked about Florida's notorious "Stand Your Ground Law," but we need candidates to answer to much more. The stakes are high. To ensure youth criminalization is on our next Governor's agenda and to secure transformative change after Election Day, we must call on Jake Tapper and Kent Justice to ask the questions that matter to our community. References: 1. "Florida City’s ‘Stop & Frisk’ Nabs Thousands of Kids, Finds 5-Year-Olds ‘Suspicious,’" Fusion 09-22-14 Fusion http://fusion.net/story/5568/florida-citys-stop-frisk-nabs-thousands-of-kids-finds-5-year-olds-suspicious/ 2. "Too Good to be True: Private Prisons in America," (.pdf) Sentencing Project, 01-2012 http://www.sentencingproject.org/detail/publication.cfm?publication_id=384
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  • Enough! Justice for John Crawford, Tamir Rice, Tanisha Anderson & an end to OH police violence
    Ohio elected officials need to send a message that they believe #BlackLivesMatter. After the tragic deaths of John Crawford III, Tanisha Anderson, and Tamir Rice here in our state, Attorney General Mike Dewine's silence has sent a message that police officers can kill black people with impunity in Ohio. John Crawford III was killed by Officer Sean Williams .36 seconds after seeing him with a toy gun that he picked up from the shelf at a Walmart in Beavercreek, Ohio. His last words were "it's not real."1 Not only was Sean Williams not indicted, Ohio Attorney General Mike Dewine failed to act and change this brutal shoot-first protocol and just a few months later, a 12 year old boy named Tamir Rice was killed by Cleveland Police in a similar situation. Will you join us to help build power behind structural changes to Ohio's political system to help end militarized, discriminatory police violence? In a harrowing video, with haunting similarities to the killing of John Crawford, Cleveland police officer Timothy Loehmann fatally shot 12-year-old Tamir as he played in the playground in front of his house with a BB gun and then told his mother to "calm down" as she tried to reach her son. (2) It was also the Cleveland Police who killed Ms. Anderson who suffered from schizophrenia. She was threatened with a taser and slammed into the pavement as her brother looked on in horror. (3) Just this week her death was ruled a homicide. (4) If Attorney General Mike DeWine had listened to Black Ohio youth and taken action after John Crawford was killed he could have prevented these tragic deaths at the hands of law enforcement. Justice for John Crawford, Tamir Rice, and Tanisha Anderson means accountability for their deaths and a fundamental change in the relationship of power between law enforcement and communities. Secret grand juries are held and produce the same outcome time and time again — prosecutors systematically do not prosecute to the full extent of the law when it comes to white officers taking Black lives. We need increased oversight, fair and equal justice for Black and brown communities, and systemic reforms to end discriminatory and abusive policing practices across the state. Join me in turning up the pressure on Attorney General DeWine and US Attorney Stewart to take immediate action to secure Justice for John Crawford, Tamir Rice, Tanisha Anderson and an end to the policies and police culture that led to these tragic killings. Enough is enough. The challenges we face are deep seated and we need widespread public pressure to hold our politicians accountable for protecting our communities and taking concrete action to end Ohio’s discriminatory policing crisis. Gov. Kasich recently announced a policing task force; but we need more than commissions. We need systemic change to end the killing of Black and brown youth, and justice for those who we have lost. Outraged and devastated by John Crawford’s death, I and countless others led by the Ohio Student Association joined together to stand up proclaim that Black lives matter. We stood vigil, led a 12-mile pilgrimage, and a three-day occupation of the Beavercreek Police station. Since, we have organized ongoing actions to build power and catapult the growing national movement to end anti-Black policing and systemic police brutality; we met with President Obama in December. (5) It will take nothing short of a massive, people-powered movement to transform the role of police in today's society. Our power in the past few months has been in our perseverance. We refuse to stop, or to go away quietly, as politicians hope we will. Please join us to move our state leaders to action. Together, we have the power to create the transformative change we need to end racist, police brutality. 1. "No Charges in Ohio Police Killing of John Crawford as Wal-Mart Video Contradicts 911 Caller Account," Democracy Now, 09-25-14 http://www.democracynow.org/2014/9/25/no_charges_in_ohio_police_killing 2. "Tamir Rice's mom: "I'm looking for a conviction," CBS News 12-08-14 http://www.cbsnews.com/news/tamir-rice-shooting-mom-of-boy-shot-dead-by-cleveland-cop-looking-for-a-conviction/ 3. "Daughter of mentally ill Cleveland woman who died in police custody hopes for change," Cleveland.com 11-18-14 http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2014/11/daughter_of_mentally_ill_cleve.html 4. Tanisha Anderson Death Ruled Homicide; Cleveland Woman Died In Police Custody," Huffington Post 1-02-2015 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/02/tanisha-anderson-homicide_n_6407416.html 5. "Breaking: Ferguson activists meet with President Obama to demand an end to police brutality nationwide," Ferguson Action 12-01-2014 http://fergusonaction.com/white-house-meeting/
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  • Governor Nixon: Don't let officer Darren Wilson get away with murder; secure justice for Mike Brown
    It’s been nearly two months since Officer Darren Wilson shot and killed 18-year-old, unarmed Black teenager, Mike Brown, and County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch has done everything in his power to avoid holding Wilson accountable, while state Governor Jay Nixon stands idly by. We at the Organization for Black Struggle have been working day and night demanding justice for Mike Brown and so many others who have been unjustly killed as a result of systemic racial bias and violence against black and brown communities. Black lives matter, and we can’t let Wilson get away with murder! And now, reports have surfaced that a jury member has broken the grand jury secrecy rules by tweeting that there is not enough evidence to arrest Wilson.(1) Public discussion of confidential jury proceedings is serious misconduct, and now it's up to Governor Nixon to show that justice is possible in Missouri. He must get rid of McCulloch for his disgraceful and corrupt handling of this national tragedy. McCulloch could have charged Wilson immediately, but chose to convene a grand jury instead. He then refused to recommend charges to the grand jury, a move that discourages jurors from indicting.(2) In 23 years as County Prosecutor, McCulloch has not prosecuted a single police shooting.(3) Given this shameful history of denied justice, it’s clear that McCulloch is incapable of securing justice for Mike Brown. The world is watching, and the one person with the power to do something is Governor Nixon, who has a responsibility to the Black voters that supported him. It’s time for him to act. Join us in demanding that Governor Nixon remove McCulloch from this train wreck of a case, and appoint a special prosecutor to take over. Since Brown’s death, we’ve been out on the streets facing Ferguson’s militarized police as we peacefully demand justice for Mike Brown. Time and again, local officials have shown us that Black lives don’t matter. We refuse to accept that message. An indictment could happen by October 15, so we must act now to change the story here in Ferguson. Governor Nixon has been given enough time to intervene and restore integrity and justice in the case against Officer Wilson. Help us create enough widespread public pressure to ensure that Governor Nixon appoints a special prosecutor by October 15. We demand Justice! P.S. Join OBS, ColorOfChange.org, and thousands of others standing shoulder to shoulder in Ferguson, Missouri for a Weekend of Resistance Oct. 10-13: http://fergusonoctober.com References 1. “Grand jury considering the Ferguson shooting is being investigated for misconduct,” Washington Post 10-01-2014 http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2014/10/01/grand-jury-hearing-ferguson-shooting-is-being-investigated-for-misconduct/ 2. “Ferguson tragedy becoming a farce,” Washington Post 09-12-2014 http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/dana-milbank-ferguson-tragedy-becoming-a-farce/2014/09/12/e52226ca-3a82-11e4-9c9f-ebb47272e40e_story.html 3. See reference 2.
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    Created by Montague Simmons
  • Mayor Kenney: Restore Transparency on the Police Brutality Database in Philadelphia
    Heads up - it just became a lot, lot harder to find out if the police officers in your neighborhood are brutalizing Black and Brown communities. When Jim Kenney was elected mayor, he recognized the lack of trust between communities and their police, in a city with massive over-policing (1) and prosecution of Black and Brown people. So in 2017, he followed the lead of other major cities like Chicago (2) and New York, and signed an executive order mandating that data on police complaints would be published online every month - instead of just available to see in person at the Internal Affairs Bureau of the police department. But news outlet Billy Penn is reporting (3) that the Mayor has removed “grim or embarrassing” reports from the database, and that the database will now strip all identifying information about the offending police from the records, making it all but impossible for neighbors to know what cops are acting out - and for watchdogs and journalists to tell the story of police brutality in Philadelphia. Billy Penn reporters Ryan Briggs and Max Marin provided a harrowing example of the differences between the reports after their whitewashing - a Black man run off his bicycle by plainclothes cops in an unmarked car, then handcuffed and detained for hours before receiving medical treatment. See if you can spot the differences: "The complainant, TW, 36/B/M, states that he was physically abused by Officers W and G, 17th District. According to the complainant, on 5-24-15, at 10:10 PM, he was riding his bicycle near 20th & Wharton Streets when someone called to him from a car. He continued riding his bicycle and was struck him from behind by the vehicle. The complainant was knocked from the bicycle to the ground. He was then handcuffed and searched by the occupants of the vehicle before being transported to the hospital for treatment by two uniformed officers. The complainant maintains he did not know the operators of the vehicle that knocked him from his bicycle were plainclothes officers. He maintains they did not identify themselves to him as police officers, nor was he arrested or charged with a crime in connection with this incident." But after the whitewashing, the complaint looks like this: According to the complainant, on 5-24-15 at 10:10pm, they were physically abused by officers assigned to the 17th District. Summary reports of alleged police abuse in Chicago (4) are far more detailed than either style of report we have in Philly, with reports sorted into categories for analysis by watchdogs, press, and the public. But in Kenney’s new version of summary reports for Philly, we don’t have anything: the initials of the officers, the race of the person the police allegedly knocked off his bike, or any details of the brutal story that lets us even try to hold police accountable. In a city where at least 300 police officers were shown to be putting racist, violent, and homophobic content onto their personal social media feeds (5), we need more public accountability for police and their behavior to Black, Brown, queer, immigrant, and poor people, not less. Sign this petition to Mayor Kenney: move right now to restore all the data to the police accountability database. For more information: (1) “In racially diverse 14th District, Philly police target black drivers 3 times more than whites, analysis shows,” By Bobby Allyn and Maura Ewing, January 11, 2019, WHYY. https://whyy.org/articles/in-racially-diverse-14th-district-philly-police-target-black-drivers-3-times-more-than-whites-analysis-shows/ (2) Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA), City of Chicago: Publications. https://www.chicagocopa.org/news-publications/publications/ (3) "After promising increased transparency, Philadelphia is redacting police complaint records." Max Marin and Ryan Briggs, July 26th, 2019, Billy Penn. https://billypenn.com/2019/07/26/after-promising-increased-transparency-philadelphia-is-redacting-police-complaint-records/ (4) COPA: http://copadev.wpengine.com/investigations/how-to-read-a-case-summary-report/, https://www.chicagocopa.org/news-publications/publications/summary-reports/2019-summary-reports/ (5) "13 Philadelphia Officers to Be Fired Over Racist, Violent Facebook Posts," by Alicia Victoria Lozano, July 18th, 2019, NBC 10. https://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Philadelphia-Police-Officers-Facebook-Posts-512891921.html
    3 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Philadelphia Coalition For A Just District Attorney Picture
  • Tell the NYPD: Support community solutions to police violence, not false solutions
    The New York Police Department (NYPD) has begun a “public” comment process for their new body worn camera policy. But, don’t be fooled, this is a false process for a false solution. The NYPD is buying 1,000 body-worn cameras for officers to wear across the city. They have opened up a public comment period that is supposed to guide how the NYPD uses these cameras. But this public comment process doesn’t give us, the public, any real authority to shape how the NYPD uses body-worn cameras. The Policing Project at New York University will review the public comments and prepare an internal report that summarizes them. There is no oversight by elected officials or New York residents. All the NYPD has to do is release a public response explaining if they adjusted their policy based on input -- That’s it! This is a false process. The debate over police body worn cameras entered the national dialogue after the police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. The President and members of Congress offered cameras as a solution to increase police accountability. As a result, federal, state, and local dollars have been spent to use them in our communities. But, as the case of Eric Garner in New York proved, cameras do not stop police violence against black communities. In fact, these devices and other police technologies only increase the potential for racial profiling and surveillance. Remember, body worn cameras are facing us, not the police. To make our communities safer, we cannot offer false solutions to a real problem. If the NYPD was invested in making communities safer, it would advocate for real community solutions such as job programs, affordable housing, and education. Not money going toward cameras that make the problem worse. In Solidarity, Chinyere and the rest of Team #MediaJustice
    384 of 400 Signatures
    Created by Chinyere Tutashinada
  • Stop UNCW officers from silencing our first amendment rights.
    UNCW students are having their first amendment rights violated by campus police officers that are unable to follow their own policies. The Black Lives Matter campaign was erased from our campus by officers who even our university Public Relations office refers to as "overzealous". There haven't been any consequences for the officer, and if our police aren't held responsible for this overstepping of boundaries, the university will continue policing the voice and opinions of its students.
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    Created by Alex Lepkowski Picture
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