Black Lives' Matter's Campaign Zero explained
Vox - End broken windows policing.
This refers to a style of policing that goes after minor crimes and
activities, based on the notion that letting minor crimes go unaddressed
can foster and lead to even worse crimes in a community. In practice,
this tactic has disproportionately impacted minority Americans — in New
York City, the vast majority of stops in 2012 were of black or Hispanic
people. Campaign Zero proposes ending this type of policing by
decriminalizing or deprioritizing public alcohol consumption, marijuana
possession, disorderly conduct, trespassing, loitering, disturbing the
peace, and spitting, as well as ending racial profiling and establishing
mental health response teams that are better equipped to deal with
mental health crises (which can result in, for example, disorderly
conduct) than police.
Campaign Zero proposes adding more community oversight over police by
making it easier for citizens to file complaints and establishing
civilian-run commissions that will help set policy at police departments
and make recommendations for discipline following a civilian
Limit use of force. Police officers are currently
allowed to use deadly force when they merely perceive — albeit
reasonably, according to courts — a deadly threat, even if a threat
isn't actually present. And police departments aren't required to report
uses of force to the federal government. Campaign Zero proposes
authorizing deadly force only when there is an imminent threat to the
officer's life or the life of another person, and the use of force is
strictly unavoidable to protect life. It also proposes changing police
policies, including reporting and use of force standards.
investigate and prosecute. Following a police shooting, investigations
are typically headed by the police department and the local prosecutor's
office, which has close ties to the police department — both of which
create conflicts of interest. Campaign Zero wants governments to
establish independent prosecutors at the state level for cases in which
police seriously injure or kill someone, which would now require an
investigation. The campaign also suggests reducing the standard of proof
for federal civil rights investigations of police officers.
representation. In some communities, the racial demographics of the
police force are wildly different from the community they represent.
Ferguson, for example, is about two-thirds black, but only three of 53
commissioned police officers were black at the time of the Brown
shooting. Campaign Zero says police departments should develop and
publicly release plans to achieve representative proportion of women and
people of color through outreach, recruitment, and changes to policies.
Body cameras and filming the police. Most police departments still
don't fully equip officers with body cameras, and many don't have
dashboard cameras for their cars. But recording devices have played a
crucial role in holding police accountable — in Cincinnati, for
instance, a body camera filmed a campus police officer's shooting of
Samuel DuBose, leading the local prosecutor to conclude that the
shooting was "asinine," "senseless," and "unwarranted" before he pressed
charges. Campaign Zero suggests equipping all police officers with body
cameras, as well as banning cops from taking people's cellphones or
other recording devices without the person's consent or a warrant.
Training. Many police departments only require training on an annual or
one-time basis, and the training tends to focus on use of force, not on
deescalation or racial bias. Campaign Zero suggests requiring officers
to go undergo training on a quarterly basis, with greater focus on
addressing subconscious racial biases and other prejudices against, for
example, LGBTQ people. End for-profit policing. In some jurisdictions,
police are used by local governments as a revenue generator. One of the
most damning findings from the Justice Department report on Ferguson is
that the police department and courts issued fines and fees to help fill
local budget gaps. Campaign Zero tries to eliminate these perverse
incentives by ending police department quotas for tickets and arrests,
limiting fines and fees on low-income people, and stopping police from
taking money or property from innocent people, as they currently do
through "civil forfeiture" laws.
Demilitarization. The Ferguson protests
captured nationwide attention after police deployed militarized
equipment — sniper rifles, riot gear, camouflage, armored trucks, and
chemical agents such as tear gas — against largely peaceful
demonstrators. But police have this type of gear in large part because
the federal government subsidizes it or gives it away to local and state
police. Campaign Zero proposes ending the 1033 program that provides
militarized equipment to police, as well as limiting when local and
state police can purchase and use this type of equipment.
contracts. Police unions have negotiated strong contracts for their
officers over the past few decades, sometimes imposing big hurdles to
investigations — such as the 48-hour rule, which prevents investigators
from talking to an officer involved in a shooting until 48 hours pass.
Campaign Zero aims to eliminate these types of barriers while requiring
police departments keep officers' disciplinary history accessible to the
public and ensuring officers don't get paid while they're being
investigated for seriously injuring or killing a civilian.
More ways to improve policing