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.
As organization dedicated both to police accountability and to defending political dissent, we are deeply disturbed by both the acquittal of the former police officer who killed Anthony Lamar Smith and police use of force against the protests in response to this acquittal.
The FBI is investigating the car attack against anti-racist activists in Charlottesville, VA, and has been reaching out to counterprotesters who were there, to conduct interviews ostensibly about the car attack.
US District Judge Hon. Robert W. Sweet denied a bid by the City of New York to dismiss key assault and battery, excessive force, and failure to train claims in a landmark federal civil rights lawsuit against the City of NY and NYPD officers who used an LRAD “sound cannon” against Black Lives Matter protesters, journalists, and bystanders in December of 2014.
Tell your Representative to oppose three bills that will increase police militarization, invade privacy, and expand the federal death penalty.