Demanding Police Reform: Education, Training, Qualified Immunity.

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Efrain Joya
Efrain Joya signed this petition

This is a petition for a complete rework of the education, training and accountability of police officers. Police for the most part only need a high school diploma to apply to a police academy and if accepted only go through 6 short months of training to receive a badge and gun. We need to increase the minimum education requirement of these officers to have some level of degree in law and/or social work, as well as attend supplemental courses such as ethics, psychology, sociology etc.. A bill must be enacted in a federal level that requires every police officer to have the proper knowledge and background to be trusted to perform this job responsibly and adequately. A surgeon goes through 10+ years of schooling to be legally trusted to hold a scalpel. Lawyers go through 7+ years of schooling to legally practice law. How can we not strive for the same importance of meticulous education for those who are meant to protect the community and enforce the law? Even if the requirement increases, education does not stop there.

Police academies spend on average 110 hours training their police officers on firearms skills and defense and only 8 hours of conflict management and mediation. This dangerously disproportionate system is what has encouraged the violence and murder among countless of innocent lives. This training reflects that the use of violence and deadly force is the only area these officers have been sufficiently trained in. Officers are here to protect and serve the community and this is why academies must include meaningful hours of mental health training, bias training, violence de-escalation training and community service. This type of training aims to protect and serve, and that the use of any kind of force is only used in confirmed life threatening situations and as a last resort. There can be specialized units trained and educated in different fields to respond to calls in their respective areas of expertise. We do not need an armed individual with only extensive firearm skills and defense training to respond to a call regarding mental illness, homelessness, domestic abuse or a minor traffic collision.

We must also reallocate funding that is more progressive towards the prosperity and well being of the people in this country. Crime is predictable, when the needs of a community isn't prioritized with the sense of urgency it deserves, crime is the outcome. We must make government spending reflect that the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are of the utmost importance to it's people. Give people access to jobs, proper housing, free education and free mental and physical healthcare. Investing in such is far more beneficial than investing in uneducated policemen armed to the teeth with high powered rifles, military grade riot gear, and armored vehicles.  

And lastly to implement a separate branch that will investigate and take action towards any form of misconduct. Internal investigations or having a neighboring department investigate an issue is a conflict of interest and blatant corruption. There must be proper checks and balances and consequences for negligence and misconduct, as well as getting rid of qualified immunity. Qualified immunity, coupled with a badge, gun, and insufficient education and training is the direct cause of the injustice and violence these officers have been permitted to do every single day. Qualified immunity will be stripped away and officers will no longer have any justification to act is if they are above the law. Misconduct of any form will not be tolerated and there will be accountability.

To every governor, senator and member in congress we demand an end to police brutality, we demand for a bill that does the above and more. This is just the tip of the iceberg for ridding the injustice, racism and murder that has infected this country. We have lost too many lives because of the lack of proper education, and accountability for these police officers, as well as by your governing or lack of. The deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Micheal Brown, Kendrick Johnson, Tamir Rice and many MANY more will not be forgotten and justice will be served. This flawed system needs to change and we the people DEMAND it.