Petition to Andy Beshear, Daniel Cameron, Rand Paul, Tom Wine, Donald J. Trump
Justice for Breonna Taylor
Breonna Taylor was an award-winning EMT and model citizen. She loved her family and community, working at two hospitals as an essential worker during the pandemic. Nearly four months ago, a division of the Louisville Police Department performed an illegal, unannounced drug raid on her home. Not a single officer announced themselves before ramming down her door and firing 22 shots, shooting Breonna 8 times, killing her. Not only were the police at the WRONG HOUSE, but the man they were looking for had already been arrested earlier that day. 1. Charges must be filed immediately. The officers involved, specifically John Mattingly, Brett Hankison, Myles Cosgrove, and any other law enforcement officer involved in the death and coverup of the death of Breonna Taylor must be fired, charged, and arrested immediately. There have been no charges thus far (it has been nearly 4 months). Their pensions must be revoked. 2. Her family must be paid in damages for wrongful death and the negligence of the LMPD. 3. Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear must speak up on behalf of Breonna, and Governor Beshear or Attorney General Daniel Cameron must appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the Louisville Police Department immediately. An in-house investigation is unacceptable. 4. The "no-knock" warrant that police had used in Breonna's murder completely violates the constitutional rights to reasonable search and seizure. By law, police must be legally obligated to announce themselves before breaking and entering into a home privately owned by American civilians. Legislation to federally ban no-knock warrants must be passed in Congress and signed by the President; what happened to Breonna was a complete violation of her constitutional rights, and threatens the rights of all American citizens. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky has voiced similar concerns. A special session must be intervened by Congress to discuss the constitutionality of no-knock warrants immediately. This has carried on for over three months. For weeks, the city treated Breonna like she was a criminal, calling her a “suspect” before finally admitting that she was an innocent, crimeless victim. She had no drugs. She committed no crime. Yet, she is dead, and the perpetrators are facing no charges. She was not only an exemplary citizen, but an essential one. She was a daughter, a friend, an American hero, and most importantly, a person. She deserved to be treated as such. Let’s get justice for Breonna. Say her name. PLEASE help me get the word out, and share this campaign on your social media platforms. Thank you to everyone who is helping in our fight to get justice for Breonna.
Petition to New York City Council, Mayor Bill de Blasio
Make the NYPD Commissioner An Electable Position
The overwhelming civil unrest and peaceful protests of the past few weeks, coupled with the NYPD’s decades-long history of racism and brutality, has made the need for both immediate & long-term change to New York’s criminal justice system more urgent than ever. Ultimately, to bring about an immediate change, we must look at possible top-down approaches. One area to do this is by reconceiving the selection process for Police Commissioner. New York City has recently shown that it can reimagine & implement a new selection process for its officials by switching to ranked voting for city official positions. I am calling for the position of Police Commissioner to be elected by the people, rather than appointed by the Mayor. The Police Commissioner, as the head of the New York Police Department, sets the precedent for the culture of the department and its relationship with citizens. The commissioner, according to the NYC Charter (§ 432, 434), has “cognizance and control of the government, administration, disposition and discipline of the department, as well as, has the power to appoint and at pleasure remove seven deputies and subordinate officers.” While the position does face the threat of removal by the Mayor, there is no direct accountability to the citizens. Point six (§ 6) in the New York City Charter, states that “The mayor shall appoint the heads of administrations, departments, all commissioners and all other officers not elected by the people, except as otherwise provided by law.” Per this language, the role of Police Commissioner can be made an electable position if the citizens will it to be by passing a new law. Commissioners are civilian administrators, so the role is more about administration, than it is about being a cop. If we want to imagine changing the police department, electing a public administrator that understands & wants to implement towards this change will be of great help. Addressing its current form, in order to make the NYPD more immediately accountable to its citizens, during this crucial moment where Americans are questioning the fundamental purpose of the police force, I am suggesting that we change the role of Police Commissioner from an appointed one to an elected one & impose a 4 year election cycle for this position. We can make this change by either demanding the city council create a new law or by amending the city charter through the Charter Revision Commission. By giving the tax-paying people of New York the ability to vote out Commissioners that don’t seem to have their constituents in mind, we will have more say in holding the NYPD responsible to citizens and more say in putting in an official that works for the interests of the people. [Learn More About How This Plan Would Evolve Here] On June 22nd, Commissioner Shea, testified that the officers who drove into a crowd of protesters on May 30th were complying with department standards. That should not be the standard. Furthermore, he called Attorney General Letitia James’ “description of running over peaceful protesters—[unfair]". Despite a slew of videos showing protestors being subjected to unnecessary police violence, Commission Shea feels that the NYPD has "exercised extreme, extreme discretion right from the start” [of the recent protests]. Commissioner Shea has also publicly expressed support for mild forms of police reform like plans to divest some funds from the NYPD to community programs or taking police out of schools. However, Mayor de Blasio wants cops to remain in schools. (Source) Instances like this make it difficult to understand what the commissioner is ultimately prioritizing: politics or people. Police Commissioners have to answer to many different groups: the mayor, the citizens, the police force & police unions but can only be removed by the Mayor. It should be up to the people to decide if real change was done at the end of a commissioner’s term & decide to reelect. After all, police are supposed to be there to serve the people. Making this an electable position by popular vote will bring another crucial layer of accountability as citizens continue to collectively fight for ultimately changing the system. A commissioner interested in serving the people would be in support of this layer of accountability. --- I’ve spent the past few weeks learning all I can about each level of the government with the intent of identifying more ways citizens can actionably bring immediate & measurable change in conjunction with our efforts for long term upending. [Find the document I made on that here: https://bit.ly/2NzrDPE] Having never studied civics, I learned things like that cities are incorporated communities that have petitioned the state for a municipal charter (a local constitution). Meaning that all of the city’s rules & organizational structures can be changed to meet the needs and desires of the citizens. For example, in 1993, citizens voted on a referendum to the NYC charter to establish term limits on elected officials. (Source) Which is political mechanism of accountability that is unanimously accepted as correct today. Even after Bloomberg extended those terms in 2008, another referendum was passed in 2010 to reinstate the original 2 4-year terms. (Source) As conversations about shaping the future of our country continue, it’s highly important to educate & re-educate ourselves about the system we currently have, in order to properly assist in creating the new system we’re fighting for. With that being said, I hope this specific call for change in NYC serves as a model for a measurable action in other cities (which are all built on amendable charters too). Again, read the document here.
Petition to Kathy Jennings, John Carney
Justice for Brandon Roberts
Brandon Roberts was a new father of a beautiful child, living in Milford, Delaware. Brandon struggled with mental health issues, and called the police during a mental health crisis, seeking treatment. His fiancé clearly explained to law enforcement that he was not a danger to anyone but himself, that there were no firearms inside the home. There was no imminent threat — Brandon was only seeking help. Police pounded on his door with weapons drawn, and in under three seconds, shot him to death in front of his family, filling his home with stray bullets. 1. We demand that the body camera footage from his death is released to the public immediately. 2. The Attorney General of Delaware, Kathy Jennings, must immediately open an independent, public investigation into the Milford Police Department. 3. The officers responsible for the murder of Brandon Roberts must be fired, have their pensions revoked, and charged with excessive force and manslaughter. Brandon's family deserves answers. The American public deserves answers. A daughter has lost her father; a wife has lost her husband; a mother has lost her son, and most importantly, an innocent man has lost his life. Brandon Roberts mattered. We demand justice for Brandon Roberts. Please share this campaign on your social media platforms. Please fight for justice for Brandon Roberts.
Petition to Dave Young, Nick Metz, Mike Coffman
Justice for Elijah McClain
August 24th, 2019, 23-year-old Elijah McClain was walking home after buying some tea at a local convenience store. According to Elijah's family, Elijah, who was anemic, preferred to wear a ski mask to keep his face warm while he was walking. The Aurora Police Department received a call of a "suspicious man". This call resulted in Elijah's death. After the McClain family requested the bodycam footage from the officers on scene it was reported that in the footage, "He is laying on the ground vomiting, he is begging, he is saying, 'I can't breathe.' One of the officers says, 'Don't move again. If you move again, I'm calling in a dog to bite you,'" -Mari Newman (the McClain's lawyer) When the paramedics arrived they administered a dose of Ketamine to the already unconscious Elijah to "sedate" him. He was pronounced dead August 27th, 2019, at only 23 years old of a heart attack. Denver 7 News stated, "...they couldn’t determine whether McClain's death was an accident, was due to natural causes, or is a homicide related to the police department's use of a carotid hold". The officers on the scene were placed on temporary leave, however, they are back in the field with no charges. Sign this petition to bring justice for Elijah. Demand that these officers are held accountable.
Petition to Tom McNamara, Ian Linnabary
Rockford, IL Police Chief Daniel G. O’Shea Must Be Fired
Police Chief Daniel G. O'Shea of Rockford, IL made a public statement in a press conference stating that at risk youth in the 16 to 17 year old age range are a lost cause and undeserving of the life and path changing relationships that build trust with law enforcement and ultimately encourage non violent behavior. He specifically states, "juvies, the 16 and 17 year old's that are running around shooting each other, we're not wasting our time trying to save them. They're lost." He went on to say, in the now viral video, "17 year olds that go around committing murders and shooting at people, I, sorry, off to prison you go. I got nothing for ya." Rockford PD is widely known in the community for racial profiling, using excessive force and harsh policing of primarily black and brown areas of Rockford, IL. There is no sect of any population that should be treated this way and then counted as a lost cause by the Chief of Police who took an oath to protect and serve the ENTIRE community. A primary role of the Police Chief is to manage police departments, which includes hiring, assessing, training, disciplining and firing of officers. A police chief who disregards an entire sect of the youth of our city as a lost cause should NOT be in the position to implement these views and practices on the officers who are in direct contact with this community. Police Chief Daniel G. O'Shea administers the adherence to and should abide by the ROCKFORD POLICE DEPARTMENT GENERAL ORDER - NUMBER: 1.18 - TITLE: BIASED FREE POLICING In this order the policy and purpose are listed as follows: POLICY: It is the policy of the Rockford Police Department to respect the civil rights of all persons and to prohibit and prevent any form of discrimination by employees of this Department when any action taken on behalf of or by any employee of this Department is motivated by race, color, ethnicity, age, gender, national origin, religion, economic status, cultural group, sexual orientation or any other identifiable group. Specifically, employees of the Rockford Police Department will not engage in any activities that are discriminatory or indicative of a practice of biased based/racial profiling. It is biased policing if an officer’s decisions/actions are based on the fact that the individual’s demographics (e.g. race, income) are different from the demographics of the majority of the residents in the area in which the individual is found. PURPOSE: The purpose of this Order is to ensure that a person’s race, color, ethnicity, age, gender, national origin, religion, economic status, cultural group, sexual orientation or any other identifiable grouping, shall not be the sole basis for any stop, detention, search, arrest or other disparate treatment by any employee of the Rockford Police Department. In this document a discriminatory practice is defined as follows: Discriminatory Practice: To take action based on partiality or prejudice; to take actions on the basis of class or category without regard to individual merit or to show preference or prejudice. Dan O'Shea's statements reflect the exact bias and discriminatory practices that are prohibited within the Rockford police department. For this cause, We, the people, demand Police Chief Daniel G. O'Shea's dismissal. We, the people, demand the individual who assumes Daniel O'Shea's position possess a personal and public philosophy of building rapport with the community, especially the youth of all creeds and colors including the black and brown youth of Rockford, IL. We, the people, demand the Rockford Police Department and all governing bodies of the city of Rockford publicly present their plans to repair the relationship, build rapport and build trust between the police and the people, especially the black and brown youth of Rockford, IL. If we do not receive our demands, we will demand the resignation of the Police Chief's superior, Mayor Tom McNamara. These are the kinds of preventative measures we must take and our local government must take to prevent further abuse at the hands of police and ultimately another black or brown, man, woman, trans, gender neutral, non-conforming, adult or child Hashtag. FORMAL COMPLAINT: Dear Mr. Linnabary: I. The Fire and Police Commission of the city of Rockford, Il has jurisdiction over this matter pursuant to IL LAW 65 ILCS 5/10-2.1-17 CHAPTER 24, PAR. 10-2.1-17, which provides the Fire and Police Commission with jurisdiction over the removal, discharge or investigation into charges against the appointed Chief of Police as the appointing authority. II. In a press conference on May 18, 2020 regarding the rise in crime amidst the Covid-19 shut down and stay-at-home orders, Chief Daniel G. O’Shea was asked by members of the local press if there was “anything in works” in reference to education and prevention programs to address the issue of violent crime. Chief O’Shea’s response was as follows: "juvies, the 16- and 17-year old's that are running around shooting each other, we're not wasting our time trying to save them. They're lost." He went on to say, "17-year olds that go around committing murders and shooting at people, I, sorry, off to prison you go. I got nothing for ya." Police Chief Daniel G. O’Shea violated The Rockford Police Department’s Policy Against Biased Policing with the aforementioned statements. The policy and purpose of the Policy Against Biased Policing are listed as follows: POLICY: It is the policy of the Rockford Police Department to respect the civil rights of all persons and to prohibit and prevent any form of discrimination by employees of this Department when any action taken on behalf of or by any employee of this Department is motivated by race, color, ethnicity, age, gender, national origin, religion, economic status, cultural group, sexual orientation or any other identifiable group. Specifically, employees of the Rockford Police Department will not engage in any activities that are discriminatory or indicative of a practice of biased based/racial profiling. It is biased policing if an officer’s decisions/actions are based on the fact that the individual’s demographics (e.g. race, income) are different from the demographics of the majority of the residents in the area in which the individual is found. PURPOSE: The purpose of this Order is to ensure that a person’s race, color, ethnicity, age, gender, national origin, religion, economic status, cultural group, sexual orientation or any other identifiable grouping, shall not be the sole basis for any stop, detention, search, arrest or other disparate treatment by any employee of the Rockford Police Department. In this document a discriminatory practice is defined as follows: Discriminatory Practice: To take action based on partiality or prejudice; to take actions on the basis of class or category without regard to individual merit or to show preference or prejudice. When Chief O’Shea offered to give clarity to the public on the statements made on May 18th, he stated that his statements were misconstrued, but at the exact same time he stated he would not have reworded it, he will not apologize and he meant what he said. He has refused to acknowledge the bias and the harm his bias has caused. III. We, the people, are filing a formal complaint with you, the appointing authority, based on the above claim of the violation of the Chief’s own Policy Against Biased Policing for the following reasons: We, the people, believe there is no group of citizens in the City of Rockford that should be viewed and communicated as disposable. Chief O’Shea has expressed an inherent bias that has completely changed the landscape of how all individuals in the City of Rockford view and can view this particular group of citizens. His words, as the once trusted leader of policing in this city, impact the views of this particular group among his colleagues, his subordinates, his supporters, the victims of the statement and the organizations and individuals that are tirelessly working with this particular group of citizens to give them alternative outlooks on life and outlets of expression. As the captain of the culture of policing in this city, officers can hear these statements, and decide for themselves that particular citizens are a waste of time, thus preventing them from operating from an unbiased place as required by the above policy. Citizens who agree with Chief O’Shea and his statements are more likely to report suspected criminal activity with that same bias. As children, much of self-worth comes from a place of outside influence, which is the work many organizations, community leaders and individuals are actively pursuing to build the self-worth of those that otherwise would be cast away as a waste of time. These statements are a direct threat to that work. These statements are dangerous to the perception of youth who could be profiled as violent without due process. The programs implemented under the administration to build trust with the youth of this community have been unraveled with a few words; “they are a waste of time.” Elected Mayor, Tom McNamara stated during a press conference on June 4, 2020 “I don’t agree with Chief O’Shea’s comments. Every single person who calls Rockford home is valuable. Every single person who calls Rockford home is worth fighting for.” Local Democratic Caucus members and City of Rockford Aldermen have expressed that Chief O’Shea must be held accountable for his words. If there is any sector of the population Chief O’Shea is responsible for and accountable to, that he considers or has considered within his tenure as Chief of Police as a ‘waste of time,’ he is no longer qualified to facilitate the culture of policing of the people of Rockford. All officers must be held accountable for their actions and their words. The Chief of Police cannot escape the same level of accountability. IV. The enumerated policy violations support the demand of We the people that the Fire and Police Commission conduct a probable cause hearing into Chief Daniel O’Shea’s violation of the Policy Against Biased Policing resulting in a decision to dismiss Chief Dan O’Shea from the position of Police Chief of the City of Rockford, Illinois on the grounds of his inability to acknowledge and correct the bias in his May 18, 2020 statements. Sincerely, We the People
Petition to U.S. House of Representatives, United Nations, U.S. Senate, Democratic National Committee, Nancy Pelosi
Hands Up Act
My name is Travis Washington. I received my M. A, degree in Higher Education and Administration from Southern Illinois University Carbondale in May 2019. I have been politically involved, from registering people to vote, to work in the Springfield Capitol (as an Alexander Lane Fellow, January to May 2017). We know how so many people of cultural minorities are in constant fear of leaving their household. This fear in our lives far too often comes from individuals working in public safety who harm people. Every single week we hear about another unarmed innocent vulnerable human being shot by the police. This has increased the trauma and fear that has made people of color scared to leave their homes. We need legislation now that prohibits police officers from shooting unarmed citizens. If there isn’t a weapon found after someone has been shot (therefore, unarmed) by a police officer, then I propose that the officer should receive a mandatory 15-year prison sentence. We have seen over and over police officers get off, even with videotape footage of citizens having been shot by police officers. This is a new form of lynching. I am pleading with you to propose a bill that protects people who have every right to feel threatened by law enforcement. We always say we need more training for those involved in public safety, and there are increasing policies and laws that mandate that police officers have “body cameras” on them. Those measures do not address the whole problem, not when the individual officers who shoot unarmed victims aren’t punished. Senator, we are in a crisis where relationships between people of color and police officers are deteriorating, beyond the critical level. In order to build any sort of positive relationships again, we need laws to keep a balance in the lives of all the public. I might even suggest this as a title for this proposed legislation: the Hands UP ACT. I will be emailing this to the all of your colleagues in the U. S. Senate, members of Congress, State Governors; Democracy Now, the Huffington Post, ThinkProgress; and to other appropriate organizations across the country. Once this petition receives enough attention. My goal to speak before the House of Representatives or United Nations during a committee hearing to bring attention to this policy. Thank You !!
Petition to Jenny Durkan, Jay Inslee, Patty Murray, Washington State Senate
Justice For Charleena Lyles
Charleena Lyles, a pregnant 30-year-old woman with 4 children was shot and killed on June 18, 2017. Charleena was a victim of domestic abuse. She struggled with mental and emotional abuse. She called the Seattle police to report her house being robbed. Before arriving, police discussed Charleena’s mental health. When arrived, they knocked her door and she opened it, frightened and holding a knife. Police did not resort to non-lethal force. Officers Jason Anderson and Steven McNew shot her 7 times within 5 seconds. Charleena was also pregnant and police killed her in front of her own children. According to Officer McNew’s transcript, one of her children came crawling, cried and rested his head on his mothers dead body. The lawsuit against the officers was dismissed by Judge Julie Spector and never discussed again. Judge Spector did not hold a close looking analysis and instead tossed the investigation and dropped it. We are asking for her case to be reopened and for the cops to be charged. Police knew she had mental health issues. Say her name, Charleena Lyles.
Petition to Marysville MI City Council
Fire Marysville Police Officer Danielle Quain
Earlier this month (June 2020), a racist meme was shared by Marysville Police Officer Danielle Quain on her personal Facebook page. The post in question callously mocks protesters of the Black Lives Matter movement, and by extension, the suffering of Black people at the hands of police brutality. Not long after the post was discovered, a disappointed citizen filed a complaint with Marysville PD. The department failed to take this complaint seriously, and instead gave the name of this person to Officer Quain, who then used this information to seek out the person on Facebook and send them a friend request. The response by Marysville PD is a violation of the filer's privacy, and the attempt by Officer Quain to retaliate is both inappropriate and unprofessional. This conduct creates an atmosphere where concerned citizens are afraid to speak out against injustices they witness, and is a prime example of the systemic racism the current civil rights movement is working towards amending. In light of Marysville city council passing a resolution on June 22nd declaring racism a public health crisis, we are calling on city officials and Marysville PD to hold themselves and their employees accountable. Racist sentiments should not be tolerated in any level of local government, and the failure to address the actions of Officer Quain shows that the city is comfortable allowing its employees to spread these opinions openly and without consequence. Setting the tone of acceptable conduct in our police departments, local and otherwise, is of utmost importance if we are to address the systemic racism that is so deeply embedded in our society. Marysville Police Department: We urge you to do and be better for the citizens of your community. We ask that in order to truly serve and protect, that you do not allow toxic and racist attitudes to exist freely in your ranks. Set the right example and remove Officer Danielle Quain from her job!