Implement Federal Policy to safeguard the civil rights of citizens from law enforcement officials
This petition had 203 supporters
This petition is for people to contact the U.S Congressional representative of their district in order to implement policies which will protect the civil rights of American citizens from law enforcement officials. It is also a petition to congress to do something about the current injustice. Many people are outraged at the circumstances that are going on right now in Ferguson. Some people believe that rioting is necessary for change, others believe peace demonstrations and marching, and still others believe that President Obama should do something. Violence is not the answer to solving this issue, and demonstrations are helpful for maintaining public relevance, but real change can only be brought about by the government, specifically congress. Even if President Obama speaks out against what is occuring, it is congress who is responsible for creating laws which uphold order and the constitution.
If anyone thinks that the freedoms and safety of American citizens are not threatened by what happened in Ferguson with the Michael Brown incident, I invite you to look at some other cases. Look at Eric Garner who was strangled to death. Look at Manuel Loggins Jr. who was shot to death in front of his daughters. Look at Ramarley Graham who was shot to death in his own home by police without a search warant. Look at Marlene Pinnock who was brutally beaten on a freeway ramp. Look at Henry Davis who was beaten in his jail cell. Look at Sean Bell who was shot at 50 times and killed the night before his wedding. Look at Rekia Boyd who was shot and killed because the police thought that a phone was a gun. Look at Luis Rodriguez who was strangled to death in front of his family for not showing ID. Look at Wendell Allen who Police shot in the heart while unarmed during an erroneous drug bust.This list of people whose civil rights are being violated could continue on and on and on.
We must challenge congress as citizens of the United States to effect the change necessary to end this, otherwise things will remain the same. There have been too many tragedies and deaths of black Americans at the hands of law enforcement officials. The underlying causes of these tragedies is a lack of value for their lives, and also a misinterpretation by these officers of what their duties actually are. Officers have a right to protect themselves, but lethal force should be a last resort. There should be no collateral damage or margin of error when it comes to the freedom and safety of Americans. When freedom is being threatened in this country, we must stand together as American citizens to uphold it.
Contrary to what some may believe, our freedoms are not free or guaranteed. Everyday our soldiers are bleeding, fighting, sweating, crying, and dying to ensure our freedoms. In our history, people had to stand together in order to do the same thing. Equal rights for minorities, the right for women to vote, the end of public discrimination, workers rights, and other things have all been secured by people willing to fight. If we don't stand together here at home while our soldiers are away in order to ensure that we keep our freedoms, then who will?
Thus, this petition is for people to email, write, or call the U.S Congressional representative who represents their specific district, and also for congress to do something. If we as citizens show that we are socially conscious and call them to act, as our official representatives they have to respond. If we want change, then we must effect it and not wait for someone else. Below are the public policy changes I believe if enacted can create a difference.
The policies are as follows:
1. The killing of an unarmed citizen who does not have an outstanding warrant for a violent crime by a police officer should be a federal offense. There should be weight to cause pause whenever someone considers taking the life of another.
2. Officers should be required to wear forward facing body cameras while on duty. Most police do currently possess a dashboard camera, but that often times does not display many on duty activities away from the vehicle. A body camera would both vindicate police testimony and provide a valuable, unbiased witness while police are on duty. Also, any tampering with the footage from these cameras by officers should be a federal offense.
3. Police who are suspended for any of these previously mentioned violations should be unpaid while they are suspended.
4. Choke holds and chest compressions in an aggressive manner by police should be federally banned. Also, any unprovoked beating of American citizens by officers as is evidenced in the cases of Henry Davis and Marlene Pinnock, should be punishable with a minimum sentencing of 6 months to a year incarceration in addition to suspensions and fines.
5. There should be a committee which investigates how to better increase diversity within police stations found in minority cities and neighborhoods. Many racial issues are amplified by what appears to be an "us vs them" atmosphere between minorities and white officers.
6. There should be designated events where police officers interact with members of the community within which they serve in an informal setting. At these events citizens can voice concerns about the police, and police can voice concerns about interactions with citizens while on the job. This should be enforced for rookie police officers if not the whole force.
I believe that we can show how much America has grown in regards to the interconnectedness of its citizens, and in regards to ending administrative injustice. So I challenge us as citizens to take action through these means, and I challenge congress to act! Lets work together to ensure the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness for not just ourselves, but for all Americans.
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