Americans have watched the Black Lives Matter movement unfold in response to cases of police violence and unequal justice outcomes across the nation. As the movement gains prominence, some voices have questioned its motives, demanding that its purpose be made clear. Now a number of activists, working with the Center for Popular Democracy and President Obama’s DoJ Task Force on 21st Century Policing, have released a set of clear and detailed policy goals.
Their findings help us grasp the extent of the problem: out of 1,100 deaths by police hands in 2014, a large majority were of unarmed citizens. Many occurred during stops for minor offenses or routine traffic violations. Far too many were of people in need of mental health resources. While unnecessary police violence undermines all our civil liberties, this violence falls disproportionately on black Americans, who already bear the overwhelming, daily force of the historical racism embedded in our nation.
In addition to policy recommendations, Campaign Zero provides guidance on implementing change at the local, state, and federal level, while encouraging feedback and suggestions. The Campaign is also tracking presidential candidates to determine who’s listening.
We applaud the activists’ coordinated, data-driven approach, endorse the policy recommendations below, and commit to advocating for implementation here in New York City. You can, too. More detailed information can be found at Campaign Zero.
- End Policing of Minor “Broken Windows” Offenses
- End Profiling and “Stop-and-Frisk”
- Establish Alternative Approaches to Mental Health Crises
- Establish effective civilian oversight structures
- Remove barriers to reporting police misconduct
- Establish standards and reporting of police use of deadly force
- End traffic-related police killings and dangerous high-speed police chases
- Revise and strengthen local police department use of force policies
- Monitor how police use force and proactively hold officers accountable for excessive force
- Lower the standard of proof for Department of Justice civil rights investigations of police officers
- Use federal funds to encourage independent investigations and prosecutions
- Establish a permanent Special Prosecutor’s Office at the State level for cases of police violence
- Require independent investigations of all cases where police kill or seriously injure civilians
- Increase the number of police officers who reflect the communities they serve
- Use community feedback to inform police department policies and practices
- Body cameras
- The Right to Record Police
- Invest in Rigorous and Sustained Training
- Intentionally consider ‘unconscious’ or ‘implicit’ racial bias
- End police department quotas for tickets and arrests
- Limit fines and fees for low-income people
- Prevent police from taking the money or property of innocent people
- End the Federal Government’s 1033 Program Providing Military Weaponry to Local Police Departments
- Establish Local Restrictions to Prevent Police Departments from Purchasing or Using Military Weaponry
*Policy solutions graphic courtesy of Campaign Zero