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Pass legislation to provide transparency and accountability for police practices in the state of New Jersey.

This petition had 2,071 supporters

The recent wave of fatal police involved shootings has brought to light the immediate need for increased transparency and accountability in police practices across the United States. Law enforcement in the United States has a long history of misconduct, police brutality, and questionable practices particularly in their interactions with Black and brown citizens and communities. These patterns have fostered a culture of distrust between citizens and police, and created dangerous tensions between law enforcement and the communities they are pledged to serve and protect. We are beyond due for the passing and implementation of formal legislation that will provide both transparency and accountability of police practices.

In the mental health profession, mental health workers are required by regulations to complete case notes in a "timely manner," with the suggested time frame being within 24 hours, not to exceed 72 hours. This regulation is to ensure that mental health workers capture the most thorough and comprehensive information regarding their interaction with clients in their notes, at the time that their memory is the most accurate.

Considering these state regulations for mental health workers, we believe that law enforcement officials should be held to even stricter standards when documenting interactions between officers and civilians that result in the use of deadly force.

Therefore, we demand that the state of New Jersey adopt legislation that requires any officer involved in or present at an incident that results in the use of deadly force to complete a thorough and comprehensive police report within 24 hours of the incident taking place, which is to be made available to the public. Each officer involved and/or present at the time of the incident will be required to complete his or her own separate report regarding the incident with their account of the events. Additionally, we demand that any and all video footage of the incident in question be released to the public within 48 hours of the incident. This footage is to include dash cam footage, body cam footage, and any surveillance footage that is available.

Secondly, we demand that the state of New Jersey adopt legislation requiring that a special third party prosecutor be elected to try any and all cases that involve the use of excessive or deadly force by a law enforcement official or officials. This would include the trying of the case before a Grand Jury and also in criminal court, should an indictment be given. The special prosecutor is to be elected by a pre-established board of community members from across the state that is representative of the state's population in race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexuality, and socioeconomic status.

Through the immediate implementation of such legislation, citizens will be provided increased transparency into police activity, and accountability practices for police officers will be less susceptible to bias and corruption. Such legislation will additionally serve as a stepping stone in reducing tensions between citizens and police.

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