With thousands on the streets protesting the death of George Floyd after a Minneapolis policeman knelt over his throat for more than eight minutes, now is the time to demand the police reforms needed to stop the killings mainly black men, according to racial justice activists.
From Campaign Zero’s # 8CantWait to Color of Change’s #WinningJustice to the NAACP’s #WeAreDoneDying, groups are proposing specific changes that have long been advocated to end abusive police practices.
“It’s time to stop watching and taking action,” the NAACP tweeted.
Democrats in the House are preparing what are called ambitious changes in the way law enforcement works. Rep. Val Demings, Florida Democrat and former Orlando Police Chief, and Democratic presidential candidate and former vice president Joe Biden both are calling for a nationwide strangling ban. Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo wants national standards on the broadcast of body camera videos of police officers.
Former President Barack Obama, in an online speech Wednesday and unlike President Donald Trump, who would crush protests with greater military force, urged every mayor in the country to review use of force policies.
His administration produced “21st Century Policing Task ForceWhich recommends ways to build trust with the community and promote better relationships while fighting crime. Reform must happen locally in more than 19,000 US municipalities, he said.
“At some point, the protests start to shrink in size,” Obama said. “And it’s very important for us to take the momentum that has been created as a society, as a country, and to say, ‘Let’s use this to finally make an impact. “
Here is what activists say is necessary:
Campaign Zero, a platform for finding solutions to police brutality in America, says data proves that these eight policies, which could be implemented immediately, can reduce police violence by 72%.
A co-founder, DeRay Mckesson, told NBCLX that since Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014, when the promised changes were not made, “We have had a failure of local leaders to be brave to fight the police. They haven’t cut budgets, they haven’t reduced responsibilities and they certainly haven’t increased accountability. “
Here are the group’s claims:
- Prohibit choke sockets and chokes
- Require de-escalation
- Require warning before firing
- Exhaust all other means before shooting
- Obligation to intervene
- Prohibition on shooting at moving vehicles
- Demand a continuum of use of force
- Require a full report
You can see what policies your city has adopted and how each can make a difference. Read the Use of Force Study here.
The NAACP police reform campaign makes similar demands to # 8CantWait.
“We don’t have the full right to live in this country,” he said. “You can change that.”
He wants the United Nations to classify the mistreatment of blacks in the United States as a human rights violation and calls for zero tolerance in prosecution of police officers who kill unarmed, non-violent and non-resistant individuals in the process. ‘an arrest.
- Prohibit knee holds and strangulation holds
- Implement escalation levels of force
- Ensure the transparency of police misconduct and disciplinary files
- Establish citizen review boards
New York Times reporter Shaila Dewan discusses how internal misconduct procedures, police unions and other institutional systems protect police from liability.
Color of Change says it designs campaigns to end practices that unfairly hold black people back and advocates for solutions moving forward. #WinningJustice aims to end mass incarceration.
“If we can get prosecutors across the country to change these six practices, we can transform our criminal justice system,” the group said.
Here are the six requests:
- End the deposit
- Treat children like children
- Stop unnecessary chases
- End the secrecy
- Stop anti-immigrant lawsuits
- Hold the police accountable
Read here to learn about prosecutors in your area, and for information on other campaigns, including “State of Emergency: End the War on Blacks” which would increase the accountability of officers with a history of misconduct, invest in healthy communities without policing and would make other changes to policing.