National policing crisis calls for national action

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    National policing crisis calls for national action

    **UPDATE: 12/14/14: Congress has just passed a bill requiring the Department of Justice to gather nationwide data on police shootings and killings, broken down by race, gender, and age. This latest bill is a major step forward towards a comprehensive database on the scale of today's discriminatory, anti-Black policing crisis. But we need widespread public pressure to ensure this latest bill is swiftly and fully implemented. We can't — and won't — wait another 2 years for a federal database on police use of force.

    **UPDATE: 12/1/14** In a significant step in the right direction, President Obama has just announced key reforms to federal programs providing local and state law enforcement with militarized weaponry, and called for 50,000 police body cameras.

    **UPDATE:** Nearly 35,000 ColorOfChange members have raised their voice calling for mandatory body cameras on all police officers. Take action here.

    The tragic police killing of 18-year-old Mike Brown hit home for millions across the country and kicked off a growing movement to end discriminatory, abusive, and militarized policing. 

    The horror of losing a loved one, to senseless, racially-motivated police violence is a daily threat in the lives of Black people in America and people of all ages and backgrounds are coming together to say ENOUGH.

    Now, national leaders are paying more attention to racial profiling and police brutality than they have in years and we have a critical opportunity to move forward long-lasting change. Will you join us in calling on the federal government to implement critical reforms to end abusive, militarized, and biased policing targeting Black and brown communities?

    Here's the letter we'll send on your behalf to the executive branch of the federal government. You can add a personal comment using the box provided.

    Dear Obama administration, the Department of Justice, the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security:

    I am writing to demand your leadership and intervention in addressing the nationwide crisis of police brutality. Every day, the lives, safety, and freedom of Black and brown youth and adults are threatened by discriminatory and violent policing tactics. Law enforcement kill Black Americans at nearly the same rate as Jim Crow era lynchings.

    The federal government has a clear role to play in overturning the conditions that led to these tragedies and setting a higher standard of policing across the country. The standards, policies, and practices of the executive branch set the tone and tactics of local and state law enforcement. The integrity of America and our criminal justice system must be restored.

    I urge you to take definitive and immediate action, including but not limited to the following reforms:

    • A fully-resourced and rigorous civil rights and criminal investigation by the DOJ into discriminatory policing, excessive force, and death or injury by police in every state in the country;
    • A comprehensive, streamlined, public national-level database of police shootings, excessive force, killings, misconduct complaints, traffic and pedestrian stops, and arrests, broken down by race and other demographic data, with key privacy protections, the exclusion of personally identifying factors and information, and deportation immunity for civilians.
    • Mandating of Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission (POST) in every state and inter-state coordination between all POSTs.
    • An executive order that creates a strong and enforceable prohibition on police brutality and discriminatory policing based on race, color, ethnicity, religion, national origin, age, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, immigration status, disability, and housing status.
    • Increased funding for the DOJ's Office for Civil Rights to ensure additional, accessible state-level responders for police and other civil rights violations. Divestment of federal anti-drug grants and federal funding for police departments that demonstrate abuse of power and massive reinvestment in community controlled and based policing practices.
    • Support for the passage of the End Racial Profiling Act (ERPA) 
    • Streamlined national use of force matrix and mandating that state and local police have clear and streamlined matrices.
    • Strict limits on asset seizure without due process and the transfer of any military equipment to local law enforcement under the 1033 program, guidelines that ensure that the equipment is not used on non-violent protesters, and an end to the requirement that such military weaponry is used within a year.

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