Topic: Police Militarization and Use of Force
In Light of Recent Massacre of Palestinian Protesters, It’s Time for US Police to End Exchanges of Worst Practices With Human Rights Abusers
Although Defending Rights & Dissent is a domestic civil liberties, we recognize the threat allowing police departments to train with known human rights abusers. US police are frequently criticized for acting like an occupying army. Training with an actual occupying army will only further this mindset amongst law enforcement.
Defending Rights and Dissent joined with Black Lives Matter DC, the Stop Police Terror project and over 50 other organizations to demand that the DC City Council hold a public hearing outside of work hours, to hear public testimony regarding racism and violence in the Metropolitan Police Department
Groups seek oversight of NYPD Strategic Response Group’s role in abusive and repressive protest policing and conflation of “anti-terror” and protest
Following the rough policing of an immigration-related protest on Thursday and prior protests in NYC where protesters were subjected to abusive treatment and tactics, a number of civil rights, legal and other organizations called for the City Council to hold an oversight hearing into the policing of protests.
Defending Rights & Dissent is deeply saddened to learn of the death of Erica Garner. Our thoughts are with her family, friends, and loved ones. She was 27 years old
Stop Urban Shield activists in Berkeley have been busy. They took aim at Urban Shield (a highly militarized police war games and weapons expo) in two different venues this week. On Wednesday night, the Berkeley Police Review Commission (PRC) voted 4 to 2 to cease the city’s participation in Urban Shield, and activists who had been brutalized by Berkeley Police while demonstrating against the program filed suit against the city.
DRAD, DC NLG FOIA Request Uncovers That DC Police Spent Over $300,000 in Weapons, Ammunition to Use against Inauguration Day Protesters
New, previously undisclosed records obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by the DC Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild (DC NLG) and Defending Rights & Dissent (DRAD) details the types, quantities, manufacturers and costs of munitions used against protesters on Inauguration Day, January 20, 2017.
The bill would stop the steady supply of battlefield equipment from entering our communities and put safeguards in place to ensure that federal funds are used more appropriately
The letter states, “We are dismayed that, after years of advocacy and dialogue, we are once again returning to an era in which federal agencies will operate these programs virtually unchecked.”
Providing law enforcement with military-grade equipment produces a dangerous, warrior mentality that could encourage more aggressive policing. Military equipment is designed to be used against an enemy, so if local police are given access to weapons being used by soldiers fighting ISIS in Afghanistan, it’s not that far a of logical jump to see an environment where unarmed public demonstrators are perceived as a threat.
The bizarre assertion of blue racism is a new low, but it plays on a similar theme we’ve seen time and time again.