Freedom To Thrive: Reimagining Safety & Security In Our Communities

Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

By Staff of Law for Black Lives – Over the last 30 years, at both the national and local levels, governments have dramatically increased their spending on criminalization, policing, and mass incarceration while drastically cutting investments in basic infrastructure and slowing investment in social safety net programs. The choice to resource punitive systems instead of stabilizing and nourishing ones does notmake communities safer. Instead, study after study shows that a living wage, access to holistic health services and treatment, educational opportunity, and stable housing are far more successful in reducing crime than police or prisons. This report examines racial disparities, policing landscapes, and budgets in twelve jurisdictions across the country, comparing the city and county spending priorities with those of community organizations and their members. While many community members, supported by research and established best practices, assert that increased spending on police do not make them safer, cities and counties continue to rely overwhelmingly on policing and incarceration spending while under-resourcing less damaging, more fair, and more effective safety initiatives. Each profile also highlights current or prospective campaigns that seek to divest resources away from police and prisons towards communities and their development.

Protest Policing In Trump’s America: Notes For J20 And Beyond

CDP-Pic-720x380

By Traci Yoder for NLG Director of Research and Education – When independent media collective Unicorn Riot filed a records request to the North Dakota Department of Corrections related to the indigenous movement against the Dakota Access Pipeline, they received the updated Field Force Operations Manual produced by the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA’s Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP). The 135-page federal training manual is designed to provide local law enforcement with “the knowledge and skills required to manage and control crowds and demonstrations.” References in the manual to the Occupy and Black Lives Matter Movements indicate that it has been updated recently, although the policing tactics will be familiar to those who have taken part in social movements for the last several decades.

Viral Video Illustrates What’s Wrong With Policing In America

Screengrabs

By Aaron Rupar for Think Progress – Last Wednesday, a black man was walking down a street in suburban Edina, Minnesota, when a plain clothes officer grabbed him and refused to let go. The officer’s conduct drew the attention of a bystander, who took out her phone and started filming. As the officer forcibly pulls the man toward his police car, he yells, “For what?… You can’t just put your hands on me like this!”

Community Policing Part Of The Problem Of Abusive Policing

Unknown-21

By Staff of We Charge Genocide – On June 8, 2016, three members of a We Charge Genocide working group, Real Community Accountability for People’s Safety (RCAPS) met with the Department of Justice. As part of their investigation into police use of deadly force in Chicago, the DOJ wanted to discuss The Counter-CAPS Report: The Community Engagement Arm of the Police State. Community policing is currently an important plank in proposals for criminal justice reform. Through our independent, collaborative and grassroots research, we found that community policing mobilizes a self-selecting group to work with police and insulate them from scrutiny.

AFROMATION: ‘These Are Our Demands’

IMG_20160716_175454

By Michaela Brown for Baltimore Bloc. Baltimore, MD – “It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains.” – Assata Shakur It is a chant that has echoed throughout this nation as black bodies have hit the streets, day after day, week after week, calling for an end to systems of injustice, inequity, and violence. In recent weeks, we have seen the death of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge and Philando Castille in St.Paul result in these black men being transformed from fathers, husbands, and sons into viral hashtags, and nationwide sorrow, rage and grief. The abundance of protest and calls to actions have been responses to this system of injustice, inequity and violence as it continues to reproduce the same outcomes.

Tomgram: Harwood And Stanley, Policing The Dystopia

Lauren Walker / Truthout

By Matthew Harwood and Jay Stanley for Tom Dispatch – For 15 years, Americans have been living in a constant state of “wartime” without any of the obvious signs of war. There is no draft. The public has in no way been mobilized. The fighting has all taken place in battle zones thousands of miles from the United States. Despite a rising homegrown fear of Islamic terrorism, an American in the continental U.S. faces greater danger from a toddler wielding a loaded gun. And yet, in ways often hard to chart, America’s endless wars — Barack Obama is now slated to preside over the longest war presidency in our history — have quietly come home.

Black Culture Isn’t The Problem – Systemic Inequality Is

Though murder rates were higher in the 1960s, no one would argue that those organizers should have put the march on Selma on the back burner to focus on black-on-black violence back then. Photograph: Ed Hille/AP

By Boots Riley for The Guardian – The idea that it is black folks and our supposedly immoral and savage culture that creates our disproportionate rates of poverty and imprisonment is everywhere: cop shows, news media, movies set in black neighborhoods and high-school social studies classes have all perpetuated this misconception. And some are now using this old, false idea to disparage Black Lives Matter, saying that the real problem facing black communities isn’t police violence, racist oppression or economic exploitation but “black-on-black crime”.

Newark Police To Revamp Stop-And-Frisk In Civil Rights Accord

A man shouts slogans while people take part in the Million People's March Against Police Brutality, Racial Injustice and Economic Inequality in Newark, New Jersey July 25, 2015.
REUTERS/EDUARDO MUNOZ

By Joseph Ax for Reuters – Police in Newark, New Jersey, will institute sweeping reforms to resolve allegations of widespread civil-rights violations under the supervision of a federal monitor, U.S. and city officials announced on Wednesday. The changes will settle allegations by the U.S. Justice Department that the police department in New Jersey’s largest city engaged in a pattern of unconstitutional practices that targeted black residents for unwarranted street stops, used excessive force and stole residents’ property.

Leaked NYPD Union Docs: City Agrees To Cover Up Police Abuse

Files released following the hacking of the country’s biggest police union show guarantees of secrecy over disciplinary records, a Guardian analysis finds. Alamy

Guardian analysis of dozens of contracts revealed by hackers shows more than a third allow or require destruction of civilian complaint records

By George Joseph for The Guardian – Contracts between police and city authorities, leaked after hackers breached the website of the country’s biggest law enforcement union, contain guarantees that disciplinary records and complaints made against officers are kept secret or even destroyed. A Guardian analysis of dozens of contracts obtained from the servers of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) found that more than a third featured clauses allowing – and often mandating – the destruction of records of civilian complaints, departmental investigations, or disciplinary actions after a negotiated period of time.

Thousands In France Protest State Of Emergency

Screen Shot 2016-02-01 at 11.01.23 AM

By Staff of Tele Sur – Activists say the French government’s crackdown on protests has done nothing to make the country safer. Thousands of people marched across France Saturday to protest the country’s nearly three month old state of emergency. Rallies took place in around 70 cities, including the capital Paris, where organizers said more than 20,000 people took to the streets. Police put turnout at closer to 5000. Many protesters said the state of emergency had curbed civil rights while doing little to improve security.