Appoint a Special Prosecutor to investigate and prosecute law enforcement use of force.
On Monday, August 12th, 2014 another UNARMED youth of color – Ezell Ford - was killed by police on the streets of Los Angeles. Sign this petition and demand that California’s State Attorney General appoint a Special Prosecutor to investigate police use of force in our state.
We are calling on State Attorney General Kamala Harris to protect the youth of California by appointing a Special Prosecutor to investigate and prosecute law enforcement use of force. Police departments do not effectively investigate and discipline their own officers; and it is equally evident that County Prosecutors rarely investigate or prosecute officers when they rely on local law enforcement to prosecute all their other cases. For fairness and justice to be achieved, it is essential that we have independent investigation and prosecution of law enforcement from the state agency authorized to monitor all county prosecutors. We will also send this petition to US Attorney General Eric Holder to urge action by the federal Department of Justice in defense of our civil and human rights.
Ezell was a victim of the constant stops and frisks of youth of color by law enforcement; he was UNARMED; he was known by the police who stopped him to be harmless and mentally ill; and according to several witnesses, he was shot in the back. Also, according to people who were on the block when the shooting happened, Ezell died on the street waiting at least 19 minutes for the Fire Department and 23 minutes for the EMTs to arrive, despite the fact that the Fire Department is located less than 2 blocks from the shooting.
Ezell is #590 – the 590th person killed by Los Angeles County law enforcement since 2000 – that’s almost 1 person killed by law enforcement every week in LA. African Americans are 9 percent of LA County’s population. But 28% of the people killed by police and sheriffs are Black. Fifty-one percent are Latino. LA County leads the nation BY FAR in law enforcement killings of community members.
And that’s just the numbers in Los Angeles! Young people are dying from Anaheim to Salinas, from Oakland to Fresno, from Sacramento to San Diego.
By signing this petition, we can send a clear message to California State Attorney General Kamala Harris that she must step in to protect youth of color throughout California.
From Emmett Till to Ezell Ford, 50 years after Mississippi’s Freedom Summer, 49 years after the Watts Rebellion, 46 years after the East LA High School Walk Outs, 22 years since the LA Uprising, young people of color across the nation are ALL STILL FIGHTING FOR JUSTICE.
We know personally that police violence isn’t only the bullets that pierce our dome, but the police baton that breaks our bones, and the battering ram that breaks our homes. It’s the war on drugs and the war on gangs that gentrifies our communities and fills our prisons. It’s the separation of families through gang injunctions, incarceration and deportation that leaves us orphaned. It’s California’s addiction to police and prison spending that bankrupts our schools and shuts down positive resources in our community – jobs, youth centers, libraries, health and mental health clinics, parks and playgrounds. It’s these programs that Ezell needed and all of us need – not the police lock-down of our neighborhoods.
Sign this petition and demand a city, a state and a nation where Ezell Ford and Deandre Brunston, Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, Oscar Grant, Suzie Peña and Devin Brown would be in college and not in the ground.
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