We Demand National Change to Protect Citizens and Communities from Police Violence and Misconduct

We Demand National Change to Protect Citizens and Communities from Police Violence and Misconduct

August 10, 2014
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This petition had 258,068 supporters

Why this petition matters

Started by Dream Defenders

(Scroll Down for our 6 National Hands Up Demands)

A long and completely avoidable history of violence by police officers has killed too many innocent civilians, caused a destructive level of mistrust in the community, and is causing a rising tide of anger, frustration, and despair among millions of good people.

This petition is for Amadou Diallo - shot at 41 times. An innocent, hardworking man simply reaching for his wallet, Diallo should be alive today.

This petition is for Sean Bell - shot at over 50 times and killed on his wedding day. 

This petition is for Oscar Grant - handcuffed with his hands behind his back for breaking a fight on the subway - Oscar was shot in the back and killed by a police officer while sitting down.

This petition is for Chavis Carter - arrested for marijuana, searched, handcuffed with his hands behind his back, and put into the back of a police car. Chavis is then said to have somehow killed himself with a gun. 

This petition is for Wendell Allen - just 20 years old - police busted into a house and shot him in the heart - killing him. He wasn't who they were looking for.

This petition is for Rekia Boyd - an unarmed Black woman shot and killed because an officer thought her cell phone was a gun.

This petition is for Luis Rodriguez - an unarmed father who was beaten and choked to death in front of his family for not showing his ID outside a movie theater.

This petition is for Eric Garner - choked to death on YouTube for the entire world to see. While the coroner has deemed his death a homicide, we must change the laws to prevent this from ever happening again.

This petition is for Israel Hernandez - a young artist that was murdered by Miami Beach Police Department after he was caught tagging an abandoned building.

This petition is for Mike Brown - unarmed and shot to death in Ferguson, Missouri, we are still waiting for even the basic answers here.

We encourage you to Google these names and cases for yourself.

This petition is for these men, and for many other unarmed men and women who have been killed by the police. It is unacceptable for the police to serve as JUDGE, JURY, and EXECUTIONER. The recent murders of Eric Garner, Michael Brown and John Crawford this past month at the hands of police have so inflamed communities across the country that we believe we are reaching a tipping point of anger.

It is our hope to channel this collective anger into effective policy solutions that will not only make life safer for citizens, but will restore confidence in police, and bring hope to hopeless families and communities devastated by these egregious acts of violence.

Our 6 National Hands Up Demands are:

1. Obama needs to “Do the Right Thing” and go to Ferguson and meet with local black and brown youth.

2. Eric Holder meet with local black and brown youth across the country who are dealing with “Zero Tolerance” and “Broken Windows” policing.  

3. Ensure transparency, accountability, and safety of our communities, by requiring front-facing cameras on police departments with records of racial disparity in stops, arrest, killings, and excessive force complaints.

4. Cops need consequences too. Police officers who discharge their weapon on an unarmed person should be suspended without pay pending further investigation. And their name and policing histories should be made available to the public.

5. Tanks and tear gas don’t ever belong in our communities. America should not be going to war with it’s citizens. Demilitarize all police departments.

6. Police should be representative of the communities they are tasked to protect and serve and community members should have  real  power  in citizen review boards.


Our 7 Policy Solutions Are As Follows:

1. The avoidable shooting and killing or otherwise murdering of an unarmed citizen who does not have an outstanding warrant for a violent crime should be a federal offense.

2. Choke holds and chest compressions by police (what the coroner lists as the official cause of death for Eric Garner) should be federally banned.

3. All police officers must wear forward-facing body cameras while on duty. They cost just $99 and are having a significant, positive impact in several cities around the United States and the world. Turning them off should warrant immediate termination. 

4. A trusted 3rd party business should monitor and store all videos from forward facing cameras.

5. Suspensions for violations of any of the above offenses should be UNPAID. If a third party review board clears the officer, the back pay, which could sit in escrow could be given back to the officer. If found guilty, the money in escrow should be given to victims of police violence.

6. All murders by police must be investigated, immediately so, by a trusted and unbiased third party. It is not sufficient for the police, who are like a family, to investigate a murder by one of their own.

7. Convictions for the above offenses should have their own set of mandatory minimum penalties. The men who killed Diallo, Bell, Grant, Carter, Garner, and others all walk free while over 1,000,000 non violent offenders are currently incarcerated in American prisons.

These federal actions are in the best interest of our country. We will direct our anger, our dollars, our votes, and our voice to seeing them happen all across the country. 

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