Act Now for Justice - R​.​A​.​C​.​E. MATTERS SLO County Demands

Act Now for Justice - R​.​A​.​C​.​E. MATTERS SLO County Demands

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R​.​A​.​C​.​E. Matters started this petition to Board of Supervisors & Sheriff's Office San Luis Obispo County and

STATEMENT FROM R.A.C.E. MATTERS SLO

We reiterate that our focus--fully and fundamentally--is on supporting Black lives in the face of all forms of hostility, aggression, and terror. While we are proud and honored to have a leadership role in the struggle for racial justice in our community, we do not pretend to be the sole force at work in the current protests. This is a coalition movement, with many elements and groups involved, sometimes with different strategies for moving forward. We urge local officials and police departments to listen to all organizers, especially Black youth, with regard to the change they and we want to see locally. 


Here is our list of demands:

  • Recognize that racial discrimination is bigger than law enforcement, and therefore should be declared a Public Health Emergency by every city within SLO County and at the SLO County level.
  • Focus all future interactions with protesters on protester safety with regard to traffic control, and do not impede on the direction of peaceful marches or demonstration.
  • Recognize that police presence can be triggering to communities of color, and the use of riot gear such as gas masks, shields, helmets, etc, is a form of aggression and escalation in itself, which should not be allowed during peaceful protests, and used only as a last resort when officer safety is truly at risk.   
  • Ensure officers have their body cameras on at all times; and have back-up battery power to guarantee this. 
  • Ban the use of knee-holds and choke-holds as an acceptable practice for police officers.
  • Immediately drop all criminal charges against non-violent protesters arrested during Black Lives Matter protests and expunge these charges from any records.
  • Establish Civilian Review Boards in all municipalities to build public confidence and hold local police departments accountable via the following provisions:
    • Review boards must have Black representation, be multi-generational and represent the diversity of genders, races, ethnicities, faiths, and sexual orientations in our communities.
    • Review boards must have oversight of complaints against police.
    • Review boards should be able to request reports from police to grant transparency and commitment to social justice.
    • Review boards must have input on law enforcement hiring. 
    • Review boards must conduct social media background checks for current and future law enforcement.
    • Review boards must review footage from protests.
  • Law Enforcement Officers must have rigorous training grounded in evidence-based practices and de-escalation techniques. This training must be provided by organizations and agencies that are committed to prosocial behaviors, upon recommendation of the Civilian Review Board.
  • SLO County, and every municipality there-in, must divert funds from law enforcement and incarceration toward community services, mental health and community non-profits.
  • Continue follow-up and communication with the community regarding long-term reform with regard to decriminalization, surveillance, facial recognition software, Use of Force policies, de-escalation, and other concerns. 
  • Additionally, we request that SLO County officials and each city in SLO County reviews A VISION FOR BLACK LIVES: Policy Demands for Black Power, Freedom & Justice, and we demand a report back on how much work has been done so far to accommodate each of these demands. 
    • We request creative commitment to review these demands within all applicable public agencies in your jurisdiction
    • Understanding that not all the demands will fall within each jurisdiction, we expect you to use the power of your position to hold other agencies and officials accountable.

R.A.C.E. MATTERS and the people supporting this demand request a response to these demands by June 19th, along with a date by which you commit to submitting a report back to R.A.C.E. MATTERS on the demands above.

 

Full url for A VISION FOR BLACK LIVES: Policy Demands for Black Power, Freedom & Justice:

https://neweconomy.net/sites/default/files/resources/20160726-m4bl-Vision-Booklet-V3.pdf

Photo credit: Emmet Arries

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