Enforce Accountability for the Murder of Unarmed Citizens

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This is a collective petition of Florida citizens who want to ask our Representatives and Senators to propose reform that holds citizens and law enforcement officials responsible for neglectful use of violence that results in the deaths of innocent or unarmed victims. Given recent events and Florida’s own history with similar cases, we believe that it is our responsibility and the responsibility of our country to break the cycle of the unfair treatment and unwarranted deaths of Black children, men, and women. We believe that this issue goes beyond political lines, and it is fundamentally a human rights issue. As such, the following proposals have been detailed in this petition.

1.     We have seen the “Stand Your Ground” law prevent shooters from being charged or convicted in cases throughout Florida. In this state specifically, the “Stand Your Ground” law has resulted in the deaths of a wide range of victims, of all backgrounds. Markeis McGlockton was a victim over a parking space, Shane Huse was a victim of a disagreement over dogs, Jason Rosenbloom was a victim over trash bags, and Trayvon Martin was a victim of prejudice. In all of these cases the perpetrator, successfully or unsuccessfully, felt comfortable enough to hide behind the Stand Your Ground law. The Stand Your Ground law must be amended to require an attempt to escape before using any violence in publicly accessible places (i.e. outside of one’s own property) and must not allow for the use of deadly force.

2.     Use of excessive force by law enforcement officials is unjustifiable. Cases of excessive force must be accompanied by minimum penalties, which should become more severe as the number of complaints increases. We must set a maximum number of allowed complaints before termination is mandated, and any officer with a set number of complaints who exerts deadly force against an unarmed citizen must be charged immediately.

3.     We must encourage Florida citizens to call a non-emergency number or social services in situations that are not life-threatening. We must invest in a social services program that trains non-violent, unarmed professionals to deescalate disputes between citizens and dispatch them in times of conflict. We must also train 911 dispatchers to recognize situations that are not life-threatening and defer such calls to the non-emergency number.

4.     We must propose legislation that reforms and standardizes the police academy curriculum to include more rigorous and ongoing psychological evaluations

This petition acknowledges that there are good cops, and aims to strengthen the relationship between law enforcement officials and the communities they serve by removing the bad ones before there is bloodshed. 

We sign this petition with the belief that our representatives and senators truly care about the lives of the people that they were elected to serve. We thank those who have proposed legislation during their tenure, and continue to advocate for human rights. We pledge to remember the politicians who respond to this petition with silence or inaction in the elections to come.

Sincerely,

Concerned Florida Citizens

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