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Berkeley Copwatch has been teaching people how to safely monitor police activity since 1990. We have trained people from various countries,conitnents and communities how to document misconduct, how to assert our rights and how to support individuals and communities in addressing issues of police and the abuse of power.Copwatch cover

We provide advice and support to victims of police abuse, go on copwatch shifts, teach a class in Community Based Police Accountability through UC Berkeley and we take on issues of militarization of police, racial profiling and treatment of the homeless people in our town. In fact, in 2013 we received the Northern California Society of Professional Journalists’ James Madison Freedom of Information Award for our use of the Public Records Act in opposing Berkeley police efforts to obtain an armored personnel carrier.

We do all of our trainings for free. Our organization of all volunteers wants to be able to provide this booklet to members of the community for free. Those who are most vulnerable to police abuse are often without regular access to the internet. Homeless people, youth, communities of color all could benefit from having access to trainings and materials that inform them about their rights and how to assert them. Copies of our handbook have been passed from hand to hand in schools, communities, prisons and elsewhere.

We are excited because we are ready to kick of an information campaign that follows our most recent People’s Investigation into the in-custody death of Kayla Moore, a transgendered, African American with mental illness who died in her own home at the hands of police. We conducted our own investigation and learned quite a bit in the process. We want to inform people about this, as well as their rights and what can be done if police abuse you, a stranger or someone you love.

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That is why we need your help to do the following:

Copwatch graphic$ 500 for 7,500 KNOW YOUR RIGHTS CARDS: These are a quick pocket guide that provides important basics of your rights as well as useful phone numbers in case someone is arrested. These cards are provided to other groups to distribute in Oakland, SF and around the Bay Area.

$1000 for 500 copies of PEOPLE’S INVESTIGATION GUIDE:┬áThis is our latest publication and represents what we have learned about gaining access to information and conducting credible community based investigations. We don’t need to wait for government agencies to investigate. We have to support each other in understanding what actually happened at an incident before people will feel comfortable making demands.

$1500 for 1000 copies of COPWATCH HANDBOOK: This is our basic training guide and what we use when teaching highschool, college students, members of the community to copwatch. The book includes legal points, non-violence guidelines, practical tips about what information is important to gather at the scene and what to do if abuse has ocurred.

The incidents of police brutality, murder and corruption are increasing. Communities across our country are struggling with this problem and seeking solutions. While we don’t have all the answers, we do beieve that every community needs to be educated about their rights, how to assert them and how to come together when police violate our rights, and the law. Please help us to spread the word and refuse to be abused! Donate generously.

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