I have noticed that several organizations have issued lists of demands to address police violence and the events of Ferguson. I thought that it would be useful to compile the lists that I could find in one place. Hopefully, people can look through these lists and decide which demands they want to organize and advocate for in their communities.
The Organization For Black Struggle
The Organization for Black Struggle, in conjunction with the Hands Up, Don’t Shoot Coalition, has issued the following demands:
1. Swift and impartial investigation by the Department of Justice into the Michael Brown shooting
2. Immediate arrest of Officer Darren Wilson
3. County Prosecutor Robert McCullough to stand down and allow a Special Prosecutor to be appointed
4. Firing of Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson
5. Immediate de-escalation of militarized policing of peaceful protestors
6. Ensure the protection of the rights of people to assemble and peacefully protest
7. Hold law enforcement officers accountable for excessive use of force on peaceful protests
8. Immediate release of individuals who have participated in their right to assemble and peacefully protest
1. Obama to come to Ferguson to meet with the people whose human rights have been violated by aggressive and militarized policing, including the family of the victim–Michael Brown
2. Eric Holder to use the full resources and power of the Department of Justice to implement a nationwide investigation of systemic police brutality and harassment in black and brown communities
3. Ensure transparency, accountability, and safety of our communities by requiring front facing cameras in police departments with records of racial disparities in stops, arrests, killings, and excessive force complaints
4. Immediate suspension without pay of law enforcement officers that have used or approved excessive use of force. Additionally, their personal information and policing history should be made available to the public
NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and 12 other national civil and human rights organizations
In a joint statement issued today, NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund (“LDF”) joined with 12 other leading national civil and human rights organizations in calling for action and reforms in the wake of the police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
“Nothing will be resolved until there is systemic change throughout this nation in the implicit and explicit bias against people of color and particularly African American youth who are routinely targeted by law enforcement even within their own communities,” said the letter, which was signed by Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of NAACP LDF, as well as leaders from the A. Philip Randolph Institute, Advancement Project, American Civil Liberties Union, Hip Hop Caucus, Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, National Action Network, NAACP, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation Black Women’s Roundtable, National Bar Association, National Urban League, and the Rainbow Push Coalition.
With so much to be done, we cannot begin to provide an all-inclusive list, but in an effort to outline a beginning strategy of reform, we are recommending the following:
1. An independent and comprehensive federal investigation by the Department of Justice of the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed African American teenager shot by police in Ferguson, Missouri,
2. A comprehensive federal review and reporting of all police killings, accompanied by immediate action to address the unjustified use of lethal and excessive force by police officers in jurisdictions throughout this country against unarmed people of color,
3. A comprehensive federal review and reporting of excessive use of force generally against youth and people of color and the development of national use of force standards,
4. A comprehensive federal review and reporting of racially disproportionate policing, examining rates of
stops, frisks, searches, and arrests by race, including a federal review of police departments’ data collection practices and capabilities,
5. A comprehensive federal review and reporting of police departments’ racial profiling and racially bias
practices, as well as any related policies and trainings,
6. A final update and release of the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) June 2003 Guidance Regarding the Use of
Race by Federal Law Enforcement Agencies (hereinafter “Guidance”), with substantive reforms including
updates that would 1) make the Guidance enforceable 2) apply the Guidance to state and local law enforcement who work in partnership with the federal government or receive federal funding; 3) close the loopholes for the border and national security; 4) cover surveillance activities; 5) prohibit profiling based on religion, national origin, and sexual orientation,
7. Required racial bias training and guidance against the use of force for state and local law enforcement that receive grants,
8. The required use of police officer Body-Worn Cameras (BWC) to record every police-civilian encounter in accordance with and policy requiring civilian notification and applicable laws, including during SWAT deployments, along with rigorous standards regarding the retention, use, access, and disclosure of data captured by such systems,
9. The universal use of dash cameras in police vehicles,
10. Concrete steps to ensure that federal military weapons do not end up in the hands of local law enforcement and, if they do, to prevent the misuse of those weapons in communities of color,
11. On the ground community training to educate residents of their rights when dealing with law enforcement,
12. The elimination of the “broken windows” policing policy initiated in the 1980’s which encourages overly
aggressive police encounters for minor offenses and the promotion of community-based policing,
13. Greater and more effective community oversight over the local law enforcement and policing tactics, and
14. The establishment of a law enforcement commission to review policing tactics that would include in its composition leaders/experts from civil rights advocacy groups who represent the most impacted communities.
BLACK LIFE MATTERS
As a national call to action, the “Black Life Matters Ride” is unifying Black people under the following demands:
1. Justice for the family of Michael Brown and all other victims of law enforcement and vigilante violence.
2. The development of a national policy specifically aimed at redressing the systemic pattern of anti-black law enforcement violence in the US.
3. De-militarization of Law Enforcement – we are demanding that the federal government discontinue its supply of military weaponry and equipment to local law enforcement. Furthermore, law enforcement agencies across the country should liquidate their current military resources, immediately.
4. Release the names of all officers involved in murdering Black people both on patrol, but also inside custody from the last 5 years onward.
5. Decrease law enforcement spending/budget by ½ by 2016, and invest that money into Black communities most devastated by poverty in order to create jobs, housing, and schools.
Change.org Petition by Shaun King
7 Policy Solutions Offered By A Change.org petition by Shaun King. Petition has nearly 225,000 signatures so far.
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.
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL USA
Amnesty International USA released three recommendations after their team examined the situation in Ferguson:
• A prompt, thorough, independent, and impartial investigation into the shooting of Brown must take place. Brown’s family must be kept informed throughout the investigation. Under international law, police officers suspected of having committed unlawful acts must be held to account through effective investigation, and where warranted, prosecuted.
• All police departments involved in policing the ongoing protests in Ferguson in response to Brown’s death must act in accordance with international human rights standards. Any human rights abuses in connection with the policing of protests must be independently and impartially investigated, and those responsible held accountable.
• A thorough review of all trainings, policies, and procedures with regards to the use of force and the policing of protests should be undertaken.