Black Lives Matter
15 Things Your City Can Do Right Now to End Police Brutality
By Zak Cheney Rice
July 01, 2015
Martin Luther King Jr. said it best in 1966: "[The] law cannot make a man love me, but it can restrain him from lynching me, and I think that's pretty important also."
Two years later, he was shot and killed in Memphis. But his dream that the United States legal system might eventually overcome its racial biases and serve its non-white citizens equally lives on.
For months now, politicians have invoked King's legacy to implore black citizens to stay peaceful in the face of routine violence. The irony of this plea seems lost on its askers, but it does fall in line with a question that's haunted Black Lives Matter protesters for the past 10 months, namely, "What's going to happen next?"
In other words: How, besides protesting, can we actually make sure no more black people are killed, beaten or tortured by the police? And how can we promote justice and equity in law enforcement more generally?
There's a strong case that the problem with policing isn't actually the police, but us - the police are merely enforcing our democratic will. Yet the real-life benefits of this umbrella term we've dubbed "police reform" - decriminalization, commitment to reducing prison populations and community oversight, to name a few - can still be impactful, if not quite a cure-all.
To that end, the Center for Popular Democracy and Policy Link, two nonprofit advocacy organizations, have partnered with various protesters and street-level organizers to find some concrete solutions to this problem. The result is a 15-point report, titled Building From the Ground Up: A Toolkit for Promoting Justice in Policing, which Mic has synthesized below to identify the concrete steps citizens and local governments can take to affect change.
"[This report] is the result of dozens of interviews ... and work we've done on the ground," Marbre Stahly-Butts, a policy advocate with CPD and co-author of the toolkit, told reporters in a press call earlier this month. "Its goal was really to reflect the aspirations of these on-the-ground organizations."
Each point can be molded to shape your municipality's particular needs, and most are doable through a focused and sustained bit of pressure on local elected officials. Here are 15 things your city can do right now to better promote justice in policing.
To read the full article, follow this link.