500 signatures reached
To: Eric Holder, United States Attorney General
Stop Police Brutality Nationwide
Training protocols to hold police responsible for their actions and to ensure that all citizens are governed equally nationwide. To stop the excessive force and over aggressiveness police have towards people of color, specifically unarmed persons of color.
Why is this important?
I am writing this petition to you, imploring that you intervene in the way police govern in America. It's increasingly obvious that the police are trained to be over zealous, over aggressive and use excessive force towards People of Color(POC).
I want to propose a solution to this problem that has gone on for far too long.
1. The police the majority of the time don't even live where they work. Police are human beings that are prone to the social culture of this country, just like everyone else. Race is a festering cancer in America and has been from its' inception. This is an unfortunate truth. Most policemen/women live in their homogenous areas, with certain mindsets and then travel distances to neighborhoods to over police and harass people different than them without impunity. I think it should be mandatory nationwide from state police to the townships that you have to live at least 3 years in the community before you attempt to govern the people in that community. This will foster more fairness and cooperation on both sides.
2. Training procedures and databases must be updated/reviewed every 3 years. In the case of Eric Garner, it was reported that the maneuver used to kill Eric Garner was an illegal choke hold that was deemed illegal in 1991, when police used it to kill a Hispanic man. Why then is it still being used in 2014? Because it's still being taught. The training must stress unarmed maneuvers and protocols to calm a situation down when the suspect is unarmed. A gun for an unarmed person is overzealous, over aggressive and simply overkill and the Police has proven over and over and that they simply can't help themselves. When an unarmed suspect begins to run, shooting must not be an option. Shooting unarmed people is not exercising common sense, especially when there are procedures in place to deal with unarmed suspects.
3. The 'code of blue', must stop. This allows lawlessness to fester within the police. Honest policemen are harassed and browbeaten when they try and right wrongs within their own department. Too often, the police cover for themselves, by lying for each other and falsifying reports as was shown in California with the CHP officer omitting that he beat up a mentally ill woman and exposed the woman by pulling up her dress. This 'code of blue' mentality is harmful and fosters a gang mentality. This is also proven by the numerous overturned convictions in the Innocence Project where people, specifically black men, were convicted and imprisoned due to shoddy and biased police work.
4. Stop the administrative paid leave when something goes wrong. What kind of punishment is this? They can kill someone and still be paid. They can harass someone and still be paid. An officer can be accused of many crimes and put under investigation. In some cases, the same officers are repeatedly involved in questionable acts of using excessive force, and are under investigation or have been under investigation in the past and yet, they still get paid administrative leave. This is ridiculous. Where's the incentive to not do anything wrong here? This does nothing but foster the 'us vs. them' mentality referenced earlier in this document and gives police a sense of being above the law. Whatever they do, they will still have their jobs and will still be paid a majority of the time.
5. For incidents that involve people skills and detective work, I suggest a force that is a step down from the police force. A domestic task force with one police officer escort should be sent to deal with such issues like, domestic violence, family arguments, arguments/minor scuffles between people, dealing with the mentally ill, etc. A police squad is not needed for these things, as they are often they are very pumped up and aggressive and just make matters like this worse by overreacting and using excessive force, especially if they are dealing with people of a different race than themselves.
I propose that you set in place a multicultural/multiracial task force to implement these procedures so that all people are served and protected instead of some people served and protected and others prosecuted and killed. How many more need to die? Here's a list of unarmed black people who have been viciously murdered by the police:
Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Kimani Gray, Kendric McDade, Timothy Russell, Ervin Jefferson, Amadou Diallo, Patrick Dorismond, Ousmane Zongo, Timothy Stansbury, Jr., Sean Bell, Orlando Barlow, Aaron Campbell, Victor Steen, Steven Eugene Washington, Alonzo Ashley, Wendell Allen, Ronald Madison, James Brisette, Duane Browne, Travares McGill, Ramarley Graham, Oscar Grant, John Crawford, III, LaTanya Haggarty, Abner Louima
These are not just names on a page. These are people: someone's father, brother and son, someone's daughter, mother and sister. The families and friends live with the pain of their loss everyday. These victims deserved just and correct police protocols and procedures, not to be sloppily murdered in a fit of fear and hatred. They deserved to be served and protected. They deserved to live.
Please keep in mind that the list is incomplete. These names are just some of the ones that were highly publicized. There are others, who didn't make the news and countless black men put behind bars due to over aggressive and overzealous police work as the Innocence Project can attest to. Then, there is the daily harassment that POC face. The police of this country have proven time and time again, that they have major issues when it comes to policing people that are different than themselves.
Enough is enough. Why do the police consistently forgo their training and give into fear and irrationality, forgo their nightsticks, taser and other training protocols or weapons and go straight for the gun when dealing with unarmed black men?
This must stop. It has gone on long enough. Something must be put in place to prevent this from happ...