Black Lives Matter, the grassroots organisation formed in the fallout of the 2012 Trayvon Martin killing, has unveiled a detailed policy platform aimed at ending police violence.
The platform, dubbed “Campaign Zero“, is a 10-pronged plan that hopes to end police killings by limiting police interventions, improving community interactions, and ensuring accountability.
The organisation has grown considerably since its inception in 2012, growing in influence as the group responded to police-related deaths to 18-year-old Michael Brown, 43-year-old Eric Garner, and others over the last year.
The new platform comes just weeks after Black Lives Matter activists held a tense meeting with presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in which she challenged the group to lay out specific policy proposals
“You’re going to have to come together as a movement and say, ‘Here’s what we want done about it,'” Clinton said.
The policies were put forward by We the Protesters, which the Guardian describes as “a prominent section of a wider protest movement that is frequently referred to, in general terms, as Black Lives Matter.”
Here are the proposals:
Broken windows policing refers to the theory that if you don’t go after minor crimes (i.e. broken windows), then it sends the community a message that they can get away with more serious crimes. Campaign Zero says this form of policing disproportionately affects minorities.
Campaign Zero suggests establishing a civilian-run commission that can make recommendations for discipline following a civilian complaint of police misconduct. They say this is better than relying on fellow officers to punish their own colleague.
Campaign Zero wants officers only to be allowed to use deadly force when there is an imminent threat to the officer’s life or the life of another person. Currently, officers can use deadly force when they perceive a deadly threat. The group also calls for stricter standards for reporting the use of deadly force.
To avoid conflicts of interest, Campaign Zero calls for state governments to establish independent prosecutors who will investigate instances of police violence and killings. The group also wants to reduce the standard of proof for federal civil rights investigations of police officers.
The campaign calls for police departments to be more representative of the communities they police by having proportional amounts of women and people of colour on staff.
Campaign Zero wants all police officers to be equipped with body cameras and for police to be banned from taking recording devices from civilians without their consent.
Campaign Zero suggests that police officers be required to undergo training four times a year on a variety of issues including racial bias or prejudice, community interaction, crisis intervention, and de-escalation of situations.
Campaign Zero recommends police departments do away with quotas for tickets and arrests as well as limit fines and fees for low-income people and have stricter standards for civil forfeiture (seizing of civilian property).
Campaign Zero suggests ending the federal government’s 1033 program that provides military weapons to local police departments. The group also says there should be greater restrictions on police departments attempting to purchase and use military grade equipment.
Campaign Zero believes police union contracts have given police unions too much influence and give officers too much protection in the instances of misconduct. Campaign Zero wants to eliminate barriers put in place by the union contracts and make officers’disciplinary history accessible to the public. In addition, they suggest that officers’ shouldn’t be paid if they are being investigated for seriously injuring or killing a civilian.
On their website, the group also offers policy agendas for how to implement their reforms on the local, state, and federal level. The group also published a fact sheet detailing where each presidential candidate stands on these proposals.
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