There’s been no shortage of eloquent commentary and reflection on the failure of grand juries in Ferguson and New York to indict police officers for the killing of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. Our role at Brooklyn Movement Center is to work day-by-day to prevent these kinds of outrageous acts of violence and oppression from happening in the first place.
That’s why we want to acknowledge the thousands of people who have left their comfort zones over the last few days and weeks to participate in street actions that express our collective anger and make the point that business cannot proceed as usual.
Street protests should not just be isolated acts, but part of a larger strategic plan. And in order to end police brutality, we need more than anger. We need to organize power in Black and Brown communities.
That’s why BMC is a voting member of Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) and is also organizing around issues like education, food justice, anti-street harassment, gentrification and political accountability.
If you live in Central Brooklyn and believe in social justice you should be a voting member of BMC or other organizations doing great social justice work in Central Brooklyn, like Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, Black Alliance for Just Immigration, Brooklyn NAACP and the Audre Lorde Project. Don’t just be part of a crowd, join a movement.
Listen here to our most recent Podcast where we discuss these issues. In the meantime, we stand as a member of CPR in demanding the following:
ACCOUNTABILITY FOR NYPD USE OF EXCESSIVE & DEADLY FORCE, AS WELL AS ABUSE
1) Full accountability through NYPD disciplinary procedures and the criminal justice system for all NYPD officers responsible for killing Eric Garner, Akai Gurley and all officers who brutalize New Yorkers.
2) Department of Justice should convene grand juries to federally indict officers responsible for the killing of Eric Garner, as well as in other NYC cases such as Ramarley Graham. (We are in solidarity with calls for federal charges in the killings of Michael Brown, John Crawford and others).
3) Governor Cuomo should issue an executive order directing the Office of the Attorney General to serve as special prosecutor in cases involving civilians killed by police officers.
4) Governor Cuomo should veto legislation (S7801/A9853) that would allow police unions to make police disciplinary policies subject to contract negotiations. The legislation would undermine the ability of local government officials across New York State to discipline officers engaged in misconduct and brutality.
5) End the NYPD Commissioner’s exclusive authority over disciplinary decisions for officers in cases of abuse, misconduct towards civilians, and excessive or deadly force.
END DISCRIMINATORY AND ABUSIVE NYPD POLICIES & PRACTICES
6) Mayor de Blasio should end broken windows, and other discriminatory and abusive policing practices. This includes hyper-aggressive selective enforcement of low-level offenses, NYPD’s discriminatory arrests for violations (non-criminal offenses), enforcement of possession of small amounts of marijuana; blanket surveillance of Muslim communities and political activists.
7) Mayor de Blasio should work with the City Council to pass the Right to Know Act to protect New Yorkers’ rights and improve daily interactions between NYPD officers and New Yorkers.
8) The Floyd federal stop-and-frisk trial court-appointed monitor Peter Zimroth, the facilitator Judge Ariel Belen, and Mayor Bill de Blasio should ensure that organizations led by and for communities impacted by discriminatory and abusive policing have a formal and structured role in NYPD reform. The Court-appointed Monitor, Facilitator and Mayor’s office should work with Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) to ensure that community organizations help determine what reforms are to be implemented, how they should be implemented, and how they are evaluated.
TRANSPARENCY OF NYPD DISCRIMINATORY ENFORCEMENT AND USE OF EXCESSIVE & DEADLY FORCE
9) The Department of Justice should launch an investigation into broken windows policing and the use-of-force policies and practices of the NYPD.
10) NYPD Inspector General Philip Eure should issue a report on the use of deadly force and other excessive force, to include accounting of the disciplinary outcomes in these incidents over the past two decades.
11) The NYPD should publish quarterly and annual reports of summons and misdemeanor arrests, as well as use of force, to include demographic datasuch as race, gender, age, precinct, etc. (We are also in solidarity with national calls for a federal database on use of force and police killings).