Decision Maker

Claire McCaskill

  • MO
  • Senator

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Victory
Petitioning Police Chief Jon Belmar

Require Ferguson and St. Louis County and City police officers to wear body cameras

My name is Courtney Curtis. I’m a native of Ferguson, Missouri. I’ve spent my whole life in this community. Now, I am fortunate enough to represent our community in the State Legislature. But I’m still a young black man who has encountered problems with the police. Five years ago, while waiting for a college friend of mine in his gated community in Kansas City, I was handcuffed, had my car searched against my will and was almost arrested. My crime? Sitting on the back of my car, working on my business plan, while waiting for a friend. I filed a complaint. No action was ever taken. Fast-forward five years. I was pulled over for supposedly having a broken tail light. After the police officer runs my ID, he comes back and says the tail light is back on. Must have been a short, he says. Three days later, an unarmed Mike Brown was killed in the street. One incident brushed under the rug, another goes horribly wrong. The killing of Michael Brown made me sick. But what keeps me up at night is that it will happen again unless we do something. We can’t bring Michael Brown back – but we can make sure his death is not in vain. It is up to us to do something. That's why I'm asking for the St. Louis County Police Department, the St. Louis City Police Department and the Ferguson Police Department to require police officers to wear cameras. We're simultaneously going to file legislation requiring police officers all across Missouri to wear cameras. Sign this petition to support our cause and help get these bills passed. Attaching cameras to the police officers' uniforms would come with many benefits. The cameras would cost a few hundreds dollars each and would: - Provide greater transparency and a constant third party witness.- Enhance police and citizen motivation to act lawfully and truthfully.- Lessen the chance of deadly force being used by police.- Increase citizen's trust of his/her police force thanks to recorded actions. Police departments are using or testing on-body cameras and they're reportedly reducing police misconduct. When the Rialto Police Department in California adopted cameras, the number of complaints filed against officers fell by 88 percent and the use of force by officers fell by almost 60 percent. There are still so many things unknown about Michael Brown’s death it’s astonishing. And still more change is needed for a true eradication of the types of problems that led to Michael’s death. But one thing we can control and do right now is to create accountability – for both police and citizens – with a digital record of what happens when a police officer interacts with a citizen. Vest cameras won’t solve all of our problems – but they will be a good start – and will create an accurate record of what happens. The trust between my community, others and law enforcement is broken. Until all police departments have cameras in place, the trust will continue to be broken. Let's join together and ask for that trust to be restored with this first step. Councilwoman Erby and I are asking for your signature on this petition so that we can continue to push for Ferguson, St. Louis County and St. Louis City police to adopt cameras, then start the process of enacting body camera legislation in Missouri. 

Courtney Curtis
137,334 supporters
Victory
Petitioning Chuck Hagel

Suspend the Weapons Transfer Program that is Militarizing Police

Our police officers are not our military. Yet military weapons meant for battlefields like the ones I served on as an Army Officer in the Gulf War are being transferred to local police departments around the country. Put simply, these weapons are not intended for local policing and often result in escalating - not solving - situations. We’re seeing this right now in Ferguson, Missouri. Many of the weapons being sent to small police departments are coming directly from the Pentagon through the 1033 Weapons Transfer Program. Since its creation, at least $4 billion worth of equipment has been distributed to local police departments through this program. Thankfully, the Senate Armed Services Committee is reviewing the Weapons Transfer Program to evaluate how these weapons are being used. However, there’s no reason to continue sending weapons through the program while it's under review. So I’m calling on Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to temporarily suspend the 1033 Weapons Transfer Program - something he has the power to do.  When local police departments have access to armored personnel carriers, mine-resistant ambush protected vehicles, M-4 rifles, camouflage uniforms and assault rifles - we’re clearly seeing the militarization of local law enforcement. But police officers are not at war with American citizens - they are here to serve and protect us. But it only makes sense that if we arm them like soldiers going into battle, they will act like soldiers. As a veteran and executive director of Veterans For Peace, I don't want to see our police militarized here at home. And I know many other troops and veterans agree.  The program has been suspended before in 2012, when some states actually lost track of military equipment. You read that correctly, these battlefield weapons have actually gone missing before. Yet the program was quietly restarted in 2013. It’s clearly time for a moratorium on the 1033 program while it is under review.

Michael McPhearson
117,958 supporters
Petitioning President of the United States, US department of commerce, Census Bureau, U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, Donald Trump, Paul Ryan, Dana Rohrabacher, Seth Moulton, Jim McGovern, Jim Cost...

Remove sub-Asian boxes on Census Form 2020! Stop racist anti-Asian anti-immigrant legacy!

Dear fellow Americans for justice, brothers and sisters against racism, The glaringly racist legacy of sub-Asian boxes on the Census form was started in 1870, after the Burlingame Treaty of 1868, which eventually led to the infamous, racist, and inhumane Chinese Exclusion Act spanning from 1882 to 1943, which among other terrible abominations, banned U.S. residents of Chinese descent from having children or getting married; their family members in Asia were forbidden from entry to U.S. and reuniting as families. The Census form has no "Asian/Asian American" category. In its place are a group of boxes signifying foreign nationalities in Asia as if Asian Americans were all “perpetual foreigners.” It intrusively identified and collected data on which U.S. residents were of Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese...descent. While the Chinese Exclusion Act ended in 1943, did these racist, humiliating, dehumanizing sub-Asian boxes get removed from the Census form? No, they were kept on the Census form by the U.S. government even until today, and if we don't fight back and boycott the Census form with sub-Asian boxes, it will stay on the 2020 Census form and beyond, prolonging a racist American legacy, a shame to all Americans. This legacy treats Americans of Asian descent as perpetual foreigners, and collects intrusive personal ancestral origin data used in many kinds of racial discrimination and persecution. In one example, the U.S. government used information from the Census Bureau to identify native born Americans of Japanese descent and sent them to Internment Camps during the World War II. There were also discriminatory laws against Americans of various Asian descent, such as Filipino. Such horrendous trampling of humanity will happen again unless you and I act now to boycott a 2020 Census form with sub-Asian boxes. We demand these sub-Asian boxes be removed and replaced with one description--"Asian/Asian American." Injustice to one human being is injustice to all human kind. If we don't stop this racist and anti-immigrant legacy, its “logic” and mentality will be repeated in current and future policy-making. Let's keep fighting against racism and improve the human condition step by step. Please join the good fight to make this historically significant change happen for now and forever, by signing this petition and sharing it on social media and by email, word of mouth. Power to the people! Fighting on, Americans against racism and anti-Asian anti-immigrant legacy

Swan Lee
57,316 supporters