Race and policing
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The Communities Transforming Policing Fund, Center for Protest Law and Litigation, CS Fund, Piper Fund, and Funders for Justice are calling on our peer philanthropic organizations to partner with us in defense of the movement. The movement to end state violence is unique, but deeply connected to all movements for equality and justice. Every right fought for and won in the United States has come through mass protests and mobilization. Every right taken away and criminalized is enforced by police and often with the use of surveillance, legal targeting, and violence. To reinforce our Democracy and to be in alignment with movements for justice and equality, philanthropy must commit to the long-term legal, safety, and security support of protesters.
Black people have always known that systems of criminalization and surveillance are designed to destroy. The overwhelming sadness and rage we feel when one of us is murdered by the police yet again is the same sadness and rage that our ancestors felt. They knew that if they wanted justice, they had to build their own communities centered in love, accountability, and care. Now more than ever, we must follow in their footsteps. As we write this, we are surviving in a police state, during a pandemic that disproportionately kills and disables Black people, with a recession looming and a clear expiration date for our planet. The moment for transformation is upon us; will you step into it with us? We give this resource guide to you as a gift and an invitation. Our hope is that these pages will empower you to take your next step in embracing community-led safety. We offer guidance about starting and leading these conversations, context to help you understand how far-reaching police violence is, and resources across the Twin Cities to support your work. The work to transform the world we live in isn't easy, but we love you, ourselves, and our communities too much to not fully invest in this movement. Consider this an invitation to join us on this journey, to one day reach the liberation we dream of.
Policing in America has always been the entry into the criminal justice system. A system which has clear links to slavery, Black Codes and Jim Crows laws, now looks like police brutality and mass incarceration. For some, policing in America has never been synonymous to public safety—the bold idea that all people should feel safe in their homes and communities. The National Urban League produced its 21 Pillars for Redefining Public Safety and Restoring Community Trust ("21 Pillars") to offer a framework for advocacy that redefines public safety and restores community trust – paving a way beyond the status quo. Our forward-thinking plan is emphasized by five key themes designed to promote the protection and preservation of life, dignity, and trust, while also building safer communities. The five themes are:Collaborate with Communities to Re-Envision Public SafetyAccountability Change Divisive Policing Policies Require Transparency, Reporting and Data CollectionImprove Hiring Standards and TrainingFor too long communities around the nation, particularly Black communities, have had their lives, safety, and freedom threatened by discriminatory and violent policing. Our communities deserve to feel safe in their homes, in their cars, and on their streets, including being safe from police violence. The 21 Pillars presents a look at what is possible – a plan forward. Public safety must be re-envisioned.
Money bail continues to divide New York States' criminal legal system into two tiers: one for those who can pay, and one for those who can't. Unfortunately, this means if you can't afford to pay bail, you go to jail.
The Institute for Innovation in Prosecution at John Jay College of Criminal Justice (IIP) convened a year-long examination of police use-of-force. Comprised of 50 experts from across the country – individuals who have lost loved ones to police violence; prosecutors; police chiefs; policy experts; academics; and advocates – the Working Group on Officer-Involved Fatalities and Critical Incidents (Working Group) convened around the shared goals of preventing useof-force, and providing a path to accountability for unjustified force.The Working Group brought together stakeholders from all sides of this issue. The diversity of the working group allowed for an honest reckoning of the factors that contribute to use-of-force and to limited accountability, and a careful examination of previously neglected nuances that can help to reduce and address these tragedies. Since its first convening, held in February 2018, the Working Group has provided a platform for directly impacted family members, prosecutors, and police chiefs to share their stories, learn from each other's experiences, and work together to build a more just system.Working Group members collaborated over the past year to identify action for prosecutors to take and communities to advocate for in order to reach these shared goals. Their collaboration culminated in a Toolkit for Prosecutors and Communities, by Prosecutors and Communities (the Toolkit). The Toolkit draws on the insight of Working Group members as well as existing data and research in order to provide actionable and adaptable steps for prosecutors and communities to prevent and address officer-involved fatalities and other critical incidents in their local jurisdictions.While there is no shortage of research or reports about officer-involved critical incidents, there has yet to be a guidebook that offers tangible steps for prosecutors and communities to take. This Toolkit addresses this gap.
The National Bail Out Collective, a formation of Black organizers committed to building a community-based movement to end pretrial detention, created this toolkit as a resource for other groups interested in using bail outs as a tactic. The collective, which consists of groups in over a dozen states, has bailed out over 200 people since we launched in May 2017 with our Black Mama's Bail Outs.This toolkit provides an overview of the bailout process; answers to frequently asked questions about bail and bail reform; a step by step guide on how to develop a bail out and supportive services plan; communications and fundraising tips; reflections on what happens after you post bail; and resources for those interested in leveraging their bail outs to advocate for the end of money bail. The toolkit can be used as a guide as groups embark on the considerable planning and feasibility work necessary to conduct a bail out in their city.We work in Black communities, often focusing on Black women (cis and trans), because although our communities are disproportionately impacted we are often excluded from conversations about the solutions. As a result the language throughout this toolkit is centered on Black liberation. This is because we believe Black liberation is a prerequisite to the liberation of all people. We recognize that many people who will use this toolkit will not be Black and may decide to expand their bail outs beyond Black communities. We excitedly invite people from every community to learn from our work and disrupt this system that harms us all. We encourage you to tailor the language where necessary.Our bail outs are a key component of our broader strategy to build the power of local organizations so they can end the use of money bail and start to experiment with community based support systems, which will replace cages. Similarly, we hope that you will approach your bail outs as a tactic, rather than the goal, and will leverage them to end money bail and the underlying systems that keep so many in cages. We hope that this toolkit will serve as a useful guide as you begin your bail out journey.
This curriculum is the product of a convening of over 20 black-led base-building organizations who came together to discuss the implications of bail and bail reform on black communities across the country.A subset of convening participants formed a working group that developed this curriculum. We understandending bail as a limited, but necessary step, towards ending the mass criminalization and incarceration ofour communities. Together we seek to ensure that communities most impacted by oppressive policing andincarceration are centered as experts in formulating alternatives to pretrial detention and incarceration.
The NAACP knows that police reform is urgent and necessary. The necessity for change is also being acknowledged by police departments around the country. Over the past thirty years, there has been growing awareness of the importance of community perceptions to effective policing. Law enforcement agencies have created community-police partnerships and engaged in dialogues with community leaders. These efforts at community oriented policing have shown us that police cannot do their jobs well without strong relationships between police and the communities they serve. We need each other.Comprehensive change is required to create the climate of trust that is needed for the community and police officers to be safe. The NAACP's police reform agenda focuses on three key areas of reform that have the potential to make this fundamental change. Our communities need police forces that are held accountable for misconduct, that have strong policies and relevant training, and in which the community plays an active role.The topics discussed in this toolkit are key areas where community pressure can lead to a change in how our police operate. Not all of these problems may apply to your local police department, and there may be areas for reform that your community will want to address that are not included here. This toolkit builds on the NAACP's 2014 Born Suspect report about anti-racial profiling activism.
A toolkit for organizers, elected officials, and community members seeking to enact local law enforcement policy reforms. The report outlines fifteen reforms in five areas -- ending mass criminalization, safe and just police interactions, community control, independent oversight, and improving police practices -- ranging from the application of a racial impact tool for all criminal justice legislation and bans on bias-based policing, to the use of body cameras and special or independent prosecutors, to improved training for police officers. The report also provides resources and questions for those working to develop campaigns around specific policy reforms as well as community-based alternatives to policing.