Racism and Policing

It is amazing to see thousands of people who have gathered together, marched together to demand the end to structural racism and White superiority that leads to the violence against, the killing of people of color by police. Diverse crowds have turned out daily since the public lynching of George Floyd in Minneapolis, on May 25, 2020. These sustained demonstration are occurring not only in large cities, but smaller cities and towns. Around 100 people demonstrated in Indianola, Iowa, where I live last night. Indianola has a population of almost 17,000 with a black population of one tenth of one percent (0.10 %).

This support in small cities and towns is crucial because that is where many of the changes in policing and criminal justice need to take place.

Education, mainly of white people, is an important part of creating change. Yesterday the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) held a ZOOM meeting described below along with the recording of that meeting.

There will be no justice until our country confronts the destructiveness of white supremacy that devalues black lives. George Floyd’s murder by the police and the protests happening all over the country and world cry out for urgent action. This week, FCNL’s José Woss, lead lobbyist for criminal justice and election integrity, and co-chair of the Interfaith Criminal Justice Coalition, will join Diane Randall to discuss racism and policing in America.

Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL)

White people need to

  • Educate ourselves
  • Listen to black people
  • Show up at protests
  • Have conversations with other White people

At the local level changes in policing can include evaluating training of police officers, policies related to use of force and explicit bias training.


Following are actions to be taken at the Federal level.

America needed police reform before November 22, 2014 when Tamir Rice was shot in his front yard while he was playing with a toy gun. America needed police reform before May 25, 2020 when George Floyd was killed when a police officer knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes. America needs police reform now!

Write your member of congress and ask them to take swift action in response to ongoing fatal and racist police killings and other violence against Black people across our country. Urge them to cosponsor :

  • The End Racial and Religious Profiling Act (S. 2355): Bans federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies from using race or religion to influence police stops, searches, and immigration proceedings.
  • The PEACE Act (H.R. 4359): Establishes a national “necessary” use of force standard to prevent police officers from using lethal force unless all non-lethal methods have been exhausted.
  • The Eric Garner Excessive Force Prevention Act (H.R. 4408): Makes it illegal for police to use any hold or grip that blocks the throat or windpipe. The sort of choke holds that police used to kill Eric Garner and George Floyd.
  • The Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act (H.R. 1714): Would stop military hardware from flowing into the hands of civilian law enforcement agencies by ending the 1033 program.

Urge your members of congress to cosponsor these bills and be a champion for racial justice and equitable policing.


There is a tool at this website that helps you compose a letter about these issues, and will then send your letter to your Senators and Congressperson.

https://fcnl.quorum.us/campaign/25330/

This is what your letter will look like. You can make any changes you want.


Help Demilitarize Law Enforcement

I am deeply concerned by the death of George Floyd, and so many Black Americans at the hands of the police. Our country and our community needs police reform now.

Please take swift action in response to ongoing fatal police killings and other violence against Black people across our country. There are a number of bills before Congress right now that can begin to address the broken American policing system:

  • The End Racial and Religious Profiling Act (S. 2355), proposed by Sen. Ben Cardin, bans federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies from using race or religion to influence police stops, searches, and immigration proceedings.
  • The PEACE Act (H.R. 4359), proposed by Rep. Ro Khanna (CA-17), would establish a national “necessary” use of force standard. This would prevent police officers from using lethal force unless all non-lethal methods have been exhausted.
  • The Eric Garner Excessive Force Prevention act (H.R. 4408), proposed by Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, would make it illegal for police to use any hold or grip that blocks the throat or windpipe. The sort of choke holds that police used to kill Eric Garner and George Floyd.
  • The Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act (H.R. 1714), proposed by Rep. Henry Johnson (GA-4), would stop military hardware from flowing into the hands of civilian law enforcement agencies by ending the 1033 program.

I urge you to cosponsor these bills and others like them. We must stand together against racial injustice and work with all levels of government to build systems that repair the damage these broken policies have caused and create a new system based on equality.

Based on your address, your letter will then be emailed to your Congressional representatives. So far 7,060 such letters have been sent.


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