Racial justice and civil liberties groups have long campaigned against unchecked abuse of police power, often racially targeted, that is endemic in communities across the United States. But the Black Lives Matter movement has raised the problem of racial profiling and police brutality to the center of the national agenda. The heavily militarized police response to the protests has also highlighted the issue of the criminalization of dissent.
Among the policy solutions to address police violence toward communities of color: end broken windows policing; establish community oversight; limit use of force; independent investigations and prosecutions of police misconduct; film the police; stop police militarization.
Silver Spring Justice Coalition Demands Answers After Unjustified Arrest of Neighborhood “Good Samaritan,” Samir Ahmed. Yes, He is Black.
Montgomery County Police again disgraced themselves by treating another Black man with undue aggression, arresting Samir Ahmed in his own neighborhood after he had helped an intoxicated neighbor home.
Political and social movements aren’t crimes, so why are Virginia police being offered a class that promises an overview of “current popular movements” and their “influential impact on social media and direct action protest?” What does that have to do with policing?
After viewing the officer’s body cam footage, and hearing from friends and neighbors of Mr. White, members of the Silver Spring Justice Coalition believe the officer had no reason to hound the unarmed Black man and chase him through his own neighborhood.
Silver Spring Justice Coalition Decries Decision that Fatal Police Shooting Was “Justified.” Demands Transparency and Accountability
On July 30, the Howard County State’s Attorney handed down a decision that the shooting of an unarmed black man by a Montgomery County police officer was legally justified.
Billie Holiday’s Strange Fruit Is Both A Testament to the Power of Dissent And An Illustration of Government Hostility to Black Political Power
July 17 marks the 59th anniversary of Billie Holiday’s death. We recall Holiday’s “Strange Fruit”, a musical protest against this country’s white supremacist violence. “Strange Fruit” is a testament to the power of music as an impetus for social change. The government’s reaction is also a story about the repression of dissent. It is for both of these reasons why we at Defending Rights & Dissent continue to defend the right to dissent.