• Reopen the investigation into the murder of Justus Howell
    Here's my story: On April 4th, 2015 I got a call that no mother wants to get, but one that is all too often made in America. My son, Justus, was dead, shot twice in the back by officer Eric Hill of the Zion police department. Like every other mother of a Black son, who fears this outcome, on that day, it became my reality. Officer Hill, with all of the state and union protection offered to those with a badge, painted an ever expanding portrait of what happened that day. He changed or “forgot” details, and added them when it was convenient. He trembled while on the stand during my family's lawsuit, spilling his water out of nervousness, discomfort and the stress of lying while under oath. I left the courtroom in tears-- angry, hurt and disgusted that once again someone who swore an oath to serve and protect might get away with murder. What Officer Hill didn’t know was that there was surveillance footage of his actions. Despite what this Officer and others said in reports, my son did not have a gun in his hand, the surveillance footage shows that fact. Instead, my son was running in the opposite direction of Officer Hill and at no point did he turn and point anything at the Officer . The Officer shot him in the back. To add insult to injury the Zion police department was , in my opinion, derelict in , not calling the Lake County Coroner’s to the scene of the crime immediately, which provided an opportunity to potentially tamper with evidence, and to stage the crime scene and craft a story that would exonerate those involved . The Lake County Coroner updated the death certificate to include Criminal homicide as a cause of death. Despite such evidence, Lake County State’s Attorney Michael Nerheim has done nothing to help ease my pain or that of other families and because of the inaction of this office, I've asked the public and those impacted by police brutality and violence to join me in my call for justice for Justus and to reopen the investigation with a fresh set of eyes. Together I know that we can gain justice for not only my family but be able to usher in a change in Lake County, ensuring that police officers are held accountable and that we are represented by a state’s attorney that cares about Black lives also. For five long years I’ve continued to fight for justice for my son because the Lake County State’s Attorney's office and State’s Attorney Michael Nerheim continue to turn their backs on my family and the Black community in Lake County in our cries for justice from police brutality. As his mother, I've asked the public and those directly impacted by police who continue to beat, maim and murder Black and Brown bodies across America and around the world to join me in my call in demanding that his case be reopened and a grand jury be convened through the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office or under the laws of the state of Illinois, the 19th Circuit District Court Lake County Grand Jury in it’s own right. I know the feelings of emptiness well, but I’ve come to understand that I am not alone, the Lake County State’s Attorney’s office has a history of doing little in addressing complaints and investigating wrongdoing of officers within the county. Many of us have heard the stories, have felt the pain and misery of being left out in the cold in our cries for justice and equity. The State’s Attorney Michael Nerheim, his office and/or the Grand Jury can do something about it and we are demanding they do so now by reopening Justus Howell's case. Those who have signed are demanding that you take action. Don't let another Black life and family feel the pain of not having equal justice. If our cries for justice are not heeded, we will remember in November. As our elected representative, the Lake County State’s Attorney Michael Nerheim has a significant and powerful role in not only holding officers accountable for wrong-doing, but the criminal justice system as a whole. We are taking action now to ensure that no mother feels what I’ve felt and what I feel every day knowing that my son’s killer walks free and still has a job. To know that at any given time, I can run into Officer Hill and feel powerless in his presence knowing that he shot my child in the back and got away with it by lying and saying that he was afraid. When will my fear go away? When will the fear of many of the mother’s of Black son’s be eased? When will our Black lives and stories matter? When will the injustice end? Justice for Justus, now and forever! LaToya Howell & Family
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    Created by LaToya Howell
  • Abolish the Jacksonville Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 3-50
    On December 14, 2019, 22 year old FAMU student, Jamee Johnson, was wrongfully murdered by Officer Josue Garriga. Officer Garigga was protected by the "blue code of silence". A culture that the Fraternal Order of the Police promotes. He was not required to give a statement until seven months after the incident and now his actions have been deemed justifiable by the Attorney's Office Fourth Judicial Circuit of Florida. 20 days after Jamee's Murder, the Jacksonville Police Union filed a lawsuit against the Jacksonville Sheriff. The lawsuit asked the courts to decide if officers' names are related when they are "victims" of a crime. “Whether it’s an officer-involved shooting, whether you’re attacked by a suspect, whatever it is that caused you to be a victim of a crime while you’re working, Marsy’s Law- in our opinion- should apply,” says, Steve Zona, President of the Jacksonville Fraternal Order of Police. Zona also stated that the release of J. Garigga's name, the murderer of Jamee Johnson, was in fact, wrong. This is in claim that the releasing of the names of the officers involved in deaths is a violation of Marsy’s Law, which protects crime victims and their privacy. Police unions grants officers impunity which is detrimental to black and brown communities. Police officers our able to get away with murdering the innocent sons and daughters of BIPOC. The FOP claims that the police officers who use lethal force are the victims of a crime. Police officers who use lethal force unwarranted are not victims, the people on the receiving end of the unwarranted lethal force are. The FOP lobbies for and protects police officers who commit crimes, whether that crime is murder, rape, or domestic abuse. The FOP violates the rule of law, under which all persons, institutions, and entities are accountable to laws. The FOP protects the police first and the people second. No one is above the law, not even police officers and they should be held accountable, fired, tried, and jailed for their crimes. We are calling for the abolishment of the Fraternal Order of Police here in Jacksonville and we need the support of the community to create a safe city for black and brown people.
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    Created by Social Liberation Alliace inc Picture
  • Black App State Demands Accountability
    Sign this petition if you support Black and brown students and want to be on the RIGHT side of history.
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    Created by Black At Appstate Picture
  • Justice for BJ Statler
    On March 27, 2019, Inglewood Officers Julian Baksh and Jonathan Rivers responded to a call at the Inglewood Church of Scientology in Inglewood, CA. During the interaction with my brother, Brian Leslie Statler, Jr. (BJ), they killed him with a single gunshot wound to the head. He died before making it to the hospital. An investigation had been declared since both officers sustained non-fatal gunshot wounds that they incidentally gave to each other. My family was not notified of his death by the Inglewood Police Department (IPD) and it took incessant calling to the LA Coroner's Office to confirm his body was there, three days after the police took his life. I was interviewed by Detectives Michael Han and Cesar Jurado, who asked any question they could to villainize BJ, to justify their colleagues killing him and to close out their investigation. It's been over a year and a half that the investigation has been going on and we have no reason to believe the officers have been fired, suspended or held accountable. It's not a stretch to believe, since they killed once, they will do it again. These officers are not fit to serve the community and need to be removed. Additionally, the Inglewood Police Department needs to implement training and execution of de-escalation policies because deadly force should never be an option! According to The Washington Post Fatal Force report, BJ was the only man shot and killed by the IPD in 2019 and they've neglectfully handled his case. In their continuing to allege its ongoing investigation, our attorney has not had access to any of the reports of BJ's death, his personal belongings or any information that would bring understanding to what happened that fateful day. They possess custody of and control all of it and have not made any effort to share it with us. Our attorney has confirmed that a trial date has been set. It'll be nearly 3 years after his murder before we have the opportunity to hold these officers and the Inglewood Police Department accountable. The trial date is set for November 9, 2021. His family deserves to know what happened. He should be alive and we demand justice! *** What are we asking for? I. The Inglewood Police Department's negligence to transparency and lack of cooperation needs to be held accountable. We believe they've conspired to justify and cover up their misconduct by preparing and filing false reports of the shooting. II. Officers Baksh and Rivers need to be held accountable for their actions to the fullest extent of the law. Their conduct was willful, malicious, and done with a reckless regard for the rights and safety of BJ. Their gross mishandling of the situation is evident by the fact that they shot each other in addition to killing BJ. Murder is still a crime no matter who committed it. III. Mayor James Butts should devote considerable resources and time to the shooting. BJ was killed on his watch and by his officers. We ask of him, why isn't BJ's case a larger priority? Doesn't yet another black man being killed by the police warrant your time and attention? In fact, the Coroner ruled it a Homicide. Does that not warrant expedient action? IV. The Inglewood Police Department has provided inadequate training in the use of deadly force and policy reform needs immediate attention to implement de-escalation policies to ensure another family is not broken apart by their misconduct.
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    Created by Krystle Statler Picture
  • Abolish laws that allow Police officers to have sex with detainees
    Anna Chambers is an 18 year old girl who was smoking weed in a car in Brooklyn last year with two of her guy friends. The officers smelled the weed, arrested only Anna, and let the two boys go. They then took her in the back of the police van, handcuffed, and took turns raping her. The officers in court said they were “seduced” and the act was “consensual”, an excuse that (horrifyingly) often works because this law is in place, and because the judiciary system places way too much trust in law enforcement officers. In 32 states, police officers have the legal right to engage in sexual acts with people in custody. Rape is technically still illegal, but the power dynamic that is present in the case of police officer and prisoner/detainee makes consensual sex impossible. Especially when the justice system is predisposed to giving police officers extreme and unethical amounts of immunity when it comes to committing acts such as murder and rape. If a 17 year old classmate cannot legally have sex with their 18 year old classmate because of the questionability of the validity of that 17 year old's consent, WHY can police officers have sex with prisoners? This is not a one-off event! This Law needs to change. “In the six-year period from 2009 to 2014, about 550 police officers had lost their badges for rape, sodomy and other types of sexual assault; and a further 440 for possession of child pornography and other sex crimes; or sexual misconduct such as propositioning citizens, sexting juveniles, or having consensual but prohibited sex while on duty. That number was “unquestionably an undercount because it represents only those officers whose licenses to work in law enforcement were revoked”, wrote the AP. ‘Not all states take such action’.”
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    Created by Emily Hime
  • Defunding BGPD
    During our council meeting on 6/22/2020, many concerned residents commented that the city council needs to reconsider their proposed budget for The Bell Gardens Police Department. However, individuals who oppose the defunding of BGPD created a petition that was not representative of our community’s needs and concerns. Their petition received a mere twenty signatures. A problem expressed via their petition was that the Police Explorers program would be heavily impacted. However, this program receives only four-thousand dollars (to pay salaries for police officers) of the BGPD’s 15 million dollar budget. The program depends on extensive fundraisers, NOT the police budget. If funds were reasonably invested, we would be able to fund many community programs that offer a space for youth development. This petition is meant to demonstrate to the city council that many Bell Gardens residents do not support a budget that allocates 53% of our funds to BGPD. Many residents believe that we should divest (incrementally remove funding from the police budget) in our police department and invest into other resources in our community. This petition will record Bell Gardens’ community members responses to our proposed city budget and alternatives to funding.
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    Created by Estephanie Garcia Picture
  • Defund FPD and reinvest in Black communities
    We, residents of Fremont, recognize that we are in a moment of uprising in support of the decades-long struggle for Black liberation. A clear mandate has emerged from your constituents: defund the police. Policing in this city, like policing everywhere in America, is an institution that descends directly from chattel slavery. It cannot be reformed, any more than the institution of slavery could be reformed, and any such call betrays a grave complicity with the suppression of Black liberation. Fremont residents are committed to enacting the changes to our systems to ensure that our city ceases to uphold institutions of white supremacy and violence, and moves toward care, safety, and liberation for all. We recognize that the end of policing is here. The people of Fremont are ready to meet this moment, and we call on our elected officials to take action to bring the change we need to see. None of us are free until all of us are free.
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  • Diverse Appointments to the NJ Police Training Commission
    The violence black people experience at the hands of police, and the racial disparity in incarceration rates in NJ is cruel, intolerably high, and must end. Inclusion of African Americans on the PTC allows representation for the most adversely affected community to help shape Police training and policy statewide. It provides African Americans with influence over creating and implementing changes to end systemic racism in policing, which leads to violence, including death, and over representation in prison and jail populations.
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    Created by Rev. H William Rutherford
  • Tell D.C Leaders: We Demand Police-Free Schools!
    The same police that are killing Black people in the streets and that continue to harass Black youth in the community, are the same police that are in our schools. We cannot continue to put our youth in harms way! We demand POLICE FREE SCHOOLS! We demand an end to the school-to-prison pipeline. It is simple: Black youth in D.C have been screaming "Love Us. Don't Harm Us"- divest from police in our schools and invest in the social-emotional health and well-being of youth! D.C is the MOST POLICED jurisdiction in America and Metropolitan Police Department's largest contract is with D.C. Public Schools. MPD currently receives $25 million to police and criminalize our youth! This increases the likelihood that adolescent behavior or responses to trauma will not be met with support but further harm. 74% of Black youth will not get the support they need. Instead: - Nearly 100% of all school expulsions are of Black youth, nearly 100% of school based arrest are of youth of color - D.C. police are also responsible for harassing and handcuffing Black youth as young as 9 years old. - 60% of girls arrested in D.C are under the age of 15. - Black girls in D.C are 30 times more likely to be arrested than white youth of any gender identity. - Often girls are disciplined and referred to police for their responses to sexual violence. This creates an unsafe and unwelcoming environment for girls, and compounds the trauma that survivors of gender base violence experience. Always, but especially now, our Black youth need love, not harm! We need to ensure that our young people have what they need to learn, that our young people have increased access to mental health professionals to address the heightened trauma caused by COVID -19 and, rampant police violence and racism. We need your support to protect Black and Brown youth from further harm and to preserve their right to live and thrive!
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  • After the smoke clears... Arrest Juan DelaCruz for the senseless murder of Pamela Turner
    Because I too suffer with mental health issues and have been beaten by the police and plenty of counterparts on many horrific occasions, because of me failing to take my medication and becoming manic; so this could have been me, but only for the Grace of God. Her story resonates with me through and through, and come to find out, there's many others who've met a terrible demise like Pamela, due to police officers not being properly trained to deal with the mentally ill.
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    Created by Paulette Williams Picture
  • Tell Atlanta to Move $18 Million from Cuffs to Care!
    In a time of public health crisis and a $40 million budget deficit, it is unconscionable for the City of Atlanta to spend $18 million to lock people in cages for jaywalking and disorderly conduct. We can, in no way, allow for this jail - and potential hotspot - to exist any longer in our community, wasting desperately needed resources, criminalizing people for being poor, and making us all less safe.
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  • Let Anthony Go Home
    A judge determined that Anthony Swain was eligible for release, but set his bond at $650,000, an amount that no one but the very wealthiest would be able to afford. As a result, Anthony has suffered in jail for four years, waiting for a trial that never comes. He is a paraplegic man with a rare degenerative disease that affects his respiratory and immune system. Without proper medical treatment, the disease can be deadly. On top of that, Anthony was recently diagnosed with COVID19 and is now in isolation, dealing with incredible cruelty. The jail cannot care for him. Let Anthony Swain go home. Anthony is a 43-year-old Black man who is wheelchair-bound and has been paralyzed from the waist down for most of his life. In February of 2016, Anthony was arrested on drug charges. Before he was locked up, Anthony was a staple in his community. On any given weekend, he could be found at his church with his tight-knit family or doing fish fries to feed people in his neighborhood. Since he has been incarcerated, Anthony's condition has deteriorated. He was diagnosed with cystic myelomalacia in 2019, which causes respiratory problems and a weakened immune system. So when coronavirus hit Florida, Anthony knew he was especially at risk. He contacted Dream Defenders to file a lawsuit to secure the immediate release of medically vulnerable people like himself and wrote an op-ed to bring attention to the despicable conditions he has been forced to endure. Anthony believed that if he wasn't released immediately, he would catch the virus at the jail. He was correct. On Mother's Day, he could not breathe. He was taken to the hospital, where he tested positive for coronavirus. He was taken from the hospital back to the jail, where he is now in isolation in a tiny cell that can't accommodate his disability. Since he’s been in isolation, he’s been eaten by ants that have infested his cell, has open wounds all over his body from bedsores, and been unable to even clean himself. This is no way for a person to recover. In addition to immediate concerns about his health and well-being, Anthony is also at risk for long-term repercussions including blood clots, stroke, heart disease, neurocognitive disorders, and so much more. Anthony has been forced to endure utter cruelty for too long. An unaffordable bond shouldn't strip someone of their right to live a safe, healthy life.
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