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Sign the petition: Hold police departments accountable for violence against African-Americans

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  • http://movetoamend.org/sites/default/files/sign-btn.png Tell President Obama and Congress: Stop funding police departments that fail to make critical reforms for Black lives.
  • Related: Philando Castile deserves justice

Heidi Hess, CREDO Action 

https://d2omw6a1nm6pnh.cloudfront.net/images/obama-lead-BLM-180.jpgPhilando Castile and Alton Sterling were not the only African-American men killed by police last week. Delrawn Smalls was killed in New York and Alva Braziel was killed in Houston.

At Tuesday’s memorial service for the police officers killed in Dallas last week, President Obama called on Americans to join together to mourn, and to join together to fight racism and end gun violence. But there is more that the president himself can do to stop police violence against African-Americans, and more that Congress can do as well.

 

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Heidi Hess 

is a Senior Campaign Manager with 

 

CREDO Action 

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Philando Castile deserves justice, ACLU of Minnesota

  • http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Take%20Action%20Today%20button.jpgJoin this call to action and send Governor Dayton, Attorney General Lori Swanson and Ramsey County Attorney John Choi an email asking for a Special Assistant Attorney General to be appointed immediately.
  • Related: Feds cover up police killing of Jamar Clark, community renews fight for justice

 

A Former Police Chief: Put Down the Big Stick

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There is a long and difficult road ahead of us. We know what it is because we have heard it before for so many years. The 1968 Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence (Kerner Commission) identified the problem: we are becoming two societies, one black, one white, separate and unequal. It’s the same today.

David C. Couper, The Progressive

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July 8, 2016 | I keep thinking since the horrific police assassinations in Dallas that we’ve been here before. It’s not that so many police officers have been summarily executed. It’s that a palpable tension still exists between police and black people in our country, despite the efforts of police departments like Dallas to implement community-oriented policing and reduce their use of deadly force.

What were these Dallas officers doing at the time of their deaths? They were protecting the rights of citizens to assemble and protest the bad conduct of other police officers. That is what police in our society do, even knowing that other police are behaving so poorly in cities like Baton Rouge and St. Anthony Village, Minnesota, and too many other cities—bad apples who spoil the police barrel.

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David C. Couper was Madison’s chief of police from 1972 to 1993. Since his retirement, he has attended seminary and was ordained as a priest in the Episcopal Church. He now lives west of Madison and serves a small church in North Lake, Wisconsin. He is the author of Arrested Development: A Veteran Police Chief Sounds Off About Protest, Racism, Corruption and the Seven Steps Necessary to Improve Our Nation’s Police (2012) and How to Rate Your Local Police (2015).

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Related: 

'It's Not Us vs. Them' James Hamblin, Atlantic

One police chief's humble solution to violence.

 

Legalized Murder and the Politics of Terror

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  • The police kill citizens with impunity, and that is exactly how the system is designed to work. The numerous little police states that exist in poor urban areas across the U.S. are models for a system that would enslave all of us.
  • Related: Philando Castile deserves justice.

Chris Hedges, Nation of Change

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July 11, 2016 | Police officers carry out random acts of legalized murder against poor people of color not because they are racist, although they may be, or even because they are rogue cops, but because impoverished urban communities have evolved into miniature police states.

Police can stop citizens at will, question and arrest them without probable cause, kick down doors in the middle of the night on the basis of warrants for nonviolent offenses, carry out wholesale surveillance, confiscate property and money and hold people—some of them innocent—in county jails for years before forcing them to accept plea agreements that send them to prison for decades. They can also, largely with impunity, murder them.

Chris Hedges, a weekly columnist for Truthdig, is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who has reported from more than 50 countries, specializing in American politics and society. 

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Related:

Philando Castile deserves justice, ACLU of Minnesota

  • http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Take%20Action%20Today%20button.jpgJoin this call to action and send Governor Dayton, Attorney General Lori Swanson and Ramsey County Attorney John Choi an email asking for a Special Assistant Attorney General to be appointed immediately.
  • Related: Feds cover up police killing of Jamar Clark, community renews fight for justice.

'It's Not Us vs. Them'

One police chief's humble solution to violence.

James Hamblin, Atlantic 

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Jul 8, 2016 | From the tiny town of Kenyon, Minnesota, Police Chief Lee Sjolander has a message for the 12,000 other police districts across the country.

Writing from his department’s Facebook page this morning, he advocates a humble role of public servitude that is antithetical to the toxic masculinity with which some police departments have been infected. “If I were your chief,” he writes, “and we worked for the same agency, serving the same great community, I would attend roll call, and here is what I would say”:

We have calls for service that we need to respond to. We have a grateful public that needs us, we have responsibilities. Yes, there are those out here who do not like us, or what we represent. It's been that way long before I or you became officers, and it will be that way long after we're gone.

James Hamblin is a senior editor at The Atlantic. He writes the health column for the monthly magazine and hosts the video series If Our Bodies Could Talk.

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