I love good police officers. I have them in my immediate family. Like all civil servants they are underpaid and under-resourced for a difficult job.
However, a long and completely avoidable history of violence by police officers has killed too many innocent civilians, caused a destructive level of mistrust in the community, and is causing a rising tide of anger, frustration, and despair among millions of good people.
This petition is for Amadou Diallo - shot at 41 times. An innocent, hardworking man simply reaching for his wallet, Diallo should be alive today.
This petition is for Sean Bell - shot at over 50 times and killed on his wedding day.
This petition is for Oscar Grant - handcuffed with his hands behind his back for breaking a fight on the subway - Oscar was shot in the back and killed by a police officer while sitting down.
This petition is for Chavis Carter - arrested for marijuana, searched, handcuffed with his hands behind his back, and put into the back of a police car. Chavis is then said to have somehow killed himself with a gun.
This petition is for Wendell Allen - just 20 years old - police busted into a house and shot him in the heart - killing him. He wasn’t who they were looking for.
This petition is for Eric Garner - choked to death on YouTube for the entire world to see. While the coroner has deemed his death a homicide, we must change the laws to prevent this from ever happening again.
This petition is for these men, and for many other unarmed men and women who have been killed by the police. It is unacceptable for the police to serve as JUDGE, JURY, and EXECUTIONER. The recent murders of Eric Garner, Michael Brown and John Crawford this past month at the hands of police have so inflamed communities across the country that we believe we are reaching a tipping point of anger.
It is our hope to channel this collective anger into effective policy solutions that will not only make life safer for citizens, but will restore confidence in police, and bring hope to hopeless families and communities devastated by these egregious acts of violence.
Our 5 Policy Solutions Are As Follows:
1. The shooting and killing 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 signficant, positive impact in several cities around the United States and the world.
4. Suspensions for violations of any of the above offenses should be UNPAID.
5. 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.
These federal actions are in the best interest of our country. We will direct our anger, our dollars, our votes, and our voice to seeing them happen all across the country.