This Ben Bartlett post called “Safety for All: George Floyd Community Safety Act” by Berkeley Councilmember Ben Bartlett appears on Medium. Here’s an excerpt:
In all 50 states and more than 145 cities, Americans are calling for legitimate police accountability, an end to police brutality, and the transformation of the police system itself. The killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis this May initiated this wave of demonstrations. But Mr. Floyd’s death is only the latest entry in a long history of human rights atrocities inflicted on Black individuals. The message is clear: enough is enough.
In response, Congress has introduced the George Floyd Law Enforcement Trust and Integrity Act of 2020, which aims to prevent police brutality and calls for national policing standards. For example, the bill reforms hiring practices of law enforcement agencies mandates studies of training procedures that codify a uniform set of procedures for Police Officer conduct and implements other provisions. While this is a step in the right direction, broad legislation at the federal level is fundamentally unable to address the specific issues and nuances of local municipalities’ law enforcement. In order to better respond to the communities they serve, it is critical that local governments and policymakers take action on police reform.
Historically, the City of Berkeley has played a critical role in developing law enforcement practices. August Vollmer, the city’s first police Chief, who among other things, first put officers in automobiles, is hailed as the Father of American policing. Likewise, Berkeley is home to the nation’s first civilian oversight board over the Police Department. Berkeley can continue its leading role by addressing today’s policing issues, namely unconstitutional behavior, racial abuse, and unsustainable expense. Though a gargantuan problem, policymakers in Berkeley and elsewhere can make headway by breaking the larger problem into its individual parts — data-driven budgeting, police accountability, the warrior mentality instilled in police academies, and the use of armed officers in non-criminal cases.
Here is the full post on Medium: Safety For All: The George Floyd Community Safety Act.
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