End Police Harrassment of African-Americans: Enforce False Reporting Laws

End Police Harrassment of African-Americans: Enforce False Reporting Laws

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Descendant of a Slave Not Ashamed started this petition to Senator Elizabeth Warren and

"Every Negro knows he is under a kind of sentence of death. He does not know when his time may come, it may never come. But it may also be at any time". John Dollard, 1930's

As this nation escalates, in full view of all it's citizens, the control of black bodies in public and private spaces it becomes the responsibility of African-Americans to stand up.

African-Americans have always had to bare the burden of proof when it comes to communicating how we've been wronged by society. For us, the truth about what hurts us has never been enough, even though it is self-evident. Our pain isn't valid unless some person or agency outside our community validates it.

Black Codes modeled after the earlier slave codes, were laws passed by Southern states in 1865 and 1866 after the American Civil War. The intent and effect of the codes were the restricting of African Americans' freedom, and of compelling them to work in a labor economy, based on low wages or debt. A defining feature of these Black Codes was the Vagrancy Law. The distorted image of African-Americans as vagrants has a long history in this country and the Vagrancy Law was embeded in the legal fabric of this nation to control the movement of recently emancipated slaves and subject them to involuntary labor.

Additionally, there were Sundown towns also known as sunset or gray towns, that were prevalant during this same period and existed into the late 1960's. These were all white municipalities or neighborhoods in the United States that practiced a form of segregation by enforcing restrictions excluding people of non-white races via a combination of discriminatory local laws, intimidation, and violence.

These laws also existed on the west coast, contrary to what most believe about the west being historically liberal. In 1844 Oregon banned African Americans from the territory altogether. Those that failed to leave were subject to receiving lashings, under a law known as the "Peter Burnett Lash Law", named for California's first governor. Once again, the nations economic reasoning prevailed and this law was quickly amended to replace lashing with forced labor.

The previously mentioned historical information is to provide context. It is 2019 and African-Americans are subject to false calls to the police by any person that deems us to be in places where they believe we do not belong. African-Americans are today, as we were in the past, under duress.

Evidence is overwhelming that African Americans, more than any other group, are consistently and negatively effected by false police reporting. The reporters however, face no legal consequences even when their reports cause needless suffering, imprisonment or even death.

There is existing law that can hold individuals accountable for the injury they inflict. In Washington State the WAC or Washington State Adminstrative Code provides the following:

*RCW 9A.76.175
Making a false or misleading statement to a public servant.
•A person who knowingly makes a false or misleading material statement to a public servant is guilty of a gross misdemeanor. "Material statement" means a written or oral statement reasonably likely to be relied upon by a public servant in the discharge of his or her official powers or duties. Note: civil liability may lie if the false statement causes damage to the individual’s reputation.

Furthermore, a US Code exists that addresses this issue which is pervasive all across our nation:

United States Code, Title 18 - CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
PART I - CRIMES
CHAPTER 47 - FRAUD AND FALSE STATEMENTS
Sec. 1038 - False information and hoaxes

Even as the issue of outwardly racist attacks against African-Americans around the country increases, the country continues to remain complicit on this issue.

If you belong to or are affiliated with a house of worship, fraternity, sorority, NAACP, Black Lives Matter or believe yourself to be an ally you have an obligation to pass this along to the people in your community. The law enforcement agencies and city councils have not heard our voice, but we can make our voices heard by signing this petition.

The African-American community must demand our law enforcement agencies enforce the law that will hold individuals accountable for falsely accusing African-Americans of simply existing in public spaces.

 

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