Make the Community in charge of its Police Department: Enact the CERB

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Imagine what we could accomplish — how wonderful life could be — if we worked with each other as a community rather than against each other. 

Background:

On September 10, 2016, our friend Holly Tucker was physically attacked by two New Haven police officers, who then filed charges against her which were ultimately dropped. And the worst part: almost no one believed her: until a video emerged that captured it on camera.

It didn't happen because these officers were born wanting to do this. It wasn't even because they got out of bed that morning and thought to themselves, "I want to beat up a member of our community today, preferably a woman, a mother — hopefully someone who's black."

It happened because our community isn't in control of our police department.

And thus, our officers are confused about what their job is and who they're doing it for. It's part of a pattern. Holly's case isn't isolated. It's about the culture of the police department.

Our proposal to create the Community Executive and Review Board is the beginning of radical and necessary change.

  • It gives the community, fully represented by a big enough and diverse enough board, executive power over the police department, with all attendant rights and privileges including hiring and firing.
  • It gives every member of the board the power to block charges from being filed in an individual case, e.g., when evidence clearly doesn't substantiate them.
  • It gives the board original review power over all complaints about police activity, and gives every member of the board the power to bring a review action.
  • It emphasizes prevention and restoration over punishment — for both officers and community members.
  • Most importantly, it recognizes that everyone — every single person — is a human being of infinite, inherent, immutable value and potential to benefit her community.

If you agree with these ideas, we hope you'll sign on here, and call your Alder to express support for the CERB (as opposed to the CRB).

 

— Catherine John

— Greg Grinberg

— Barbara Fair

— John Lugo

— Unidad Latina en Acción



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