Call to Action
- Metuchen Anti Racism Rally 2020
- Demystifying “Defunding the Police”
- Justice for Big Floyd
- Help Contribute to Bail Funds
- Newark Civilian Rights Complaint Review Board: Right now, Newark is embroiled in a state Supreme Court battle with the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No.12 for the right of its Civilian Complaint Review Board to investigate public complaints against police via subpoena. The CCRB was established in 2016 after a 2014 federal report determined that Newark Police Department had a pattern of civil rights violations. From the ACLU-NJ. Call 609-815-2955. Tell the Justices of the NJ Supreme Court that they must uphold the ruling to allow Newark and subsequent municipalities the right to have a Civilian Police Oversight Board. If and when more black men are murdered, those officers must be help accountable.
- Maurice Gordon should be alive. On May 23rd, he was pulled over, then waiting for a tow. He was unarmed. And a NJ trooper shot him to death. We are asking that the AG Grewal @newjerseyoag and Gov. Murphy @govmurphy do a full and complete review; AG phone number: 609-292-4925, the AG’s corruption hotline 1-844-674-2847, Office of Public Integrity & Accountability 609-984-5828. Learn more with these Action Items as we seek #JusticeforMaurice.
- Fight for Breonna – Just before 1 a.m. on March 13, three officers forced their way into Breonna Taylor’s Louisville, Kentucky apartment with a battering ram, shooting her at least eight times until she died on her hallway floor. Taylor, a Black woman, was an ER technician and former EMT. Ms. Taylor was the victim of a wrong address with the actual arrest of the suspect being nearly 10 miles away. None of the police officers—Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison (terminated 06-19-2020), and Myles Cosgrove,—have been arrested or fired after Taylor’s death, with 2 of the 3 officers currently on paid administrative leave. What’s more, none of the officers were wearing body cameras.
- In 2006, Buffalo N.Y. Officer Cariol Horne, who is black, jumped on white officer Gregory Kwiatkowski’s back to prevent him from harming a black suspect who was in a chokehold, saying she was worried the officer would kill the man. In 2008 she was fired for the action and lost her pension. Now officials are looking at the case again, seeking to restore the pension she lost in the light of protests over the death of George Floyd. Contact Attorney General Letitia James to re-review the case and the grounds for termination, and request to that Ms. Horne’s pension and back pay be reinstated.
- Joshua Williams was 18 when he was arrested for stealing a bag of chips and lighting a QuikTrip trash can on fire in the aftermath of a protest sparked by the death of Antonio Martin near Ferguson, MO. It was December, 2014; Williams had already been in the streets for months already at that point, protesting the killing of Michael Brown by a Ferguson police officer. During that time, Williams became a well-known and well-liked activist in Ferguson. Williams eventually pleaded guilty to counts that included first-degree arson and second-degree burglary. Despite having no prior criminal record, he was given eight years, a sentence many have questioned, and his cause has since been taken up by many other community leaders in the area. He has now served five years. Later this month (June 2020), he is up for parole. Learn about ways to support Josh in his quest for parole (sample letter).
- Help shape the future of policing in New Jersey. Share your views with the NJ Office of the Attorney General about how we should update the statewide Use of Force Policy. Learn more.
- NJ Senate Bill 2519 & Assembly Bill 4235 – People who are incarcerated in New Jersey prisons and jails have died from COVID-19 at a higher rate than any other prison system in the country. Of nearly 3,000 people made eligible for release under Gov. Murphy’s Executive Order 124, issued on April 10, only a few hundred have been released. In addition to the highest death rate of COVID-19, New Jersey lags behind many other states in reducing the prison population as a matter of public health, and has the worst Black-white racial disparities in its prison population in the United States. Learn more from the ACLU-NJ and contact your state legislator and ask them to support these bills today!
- SayHerName: Learn about ways to help draw much needed attention to these important cases. Learn More.
- Justice for Andres Guardado – Mr. Guardado was shot about 6 p.m. Thursday (06-18-2020) after a confrontation with deputies near a Gardena auto body shop, said Capt. Kent Wegener of the homicide bureau. Guardado was speaking with someone in a car that was blocking the location when deputies from the Compton sheriff’s station pulled up, Wegener said. U.S. Reps. Nanette Barragán and Maxine Waters and Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas on Saturday called for independent investigations, including one led by state Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra. Contact the CA State Attorney General and demand an independent investigation.
New Jersey Legislative Action (contact your state assembly person & state senator & urge them to pass & Governor Murphy to sign into law)
- Assembly Bill 1076 – Requires AG to collect, record, analyze, and report certain prosecutorial and criminal justice data. This bill passed the full Assembly by a vote of 78-0 on Thursday June 18th. Learn More.
- Senate Bill 401 & Assembly Bill 2394 – Requires law enforcement agencies in this State to establish minority recruitment and selection programs; establishes reporting requirement. This bill passed the full Assembly 70-3-5 on Thursday June 18th. Learn More.
- Senate Bill 2635 & Assembly Bill 1906 & 4230 – Includes false incrimination and filing false police report as form of bias intimidation; establishes crime of false 9-1-1 call with purpose to intimidate or harass based on race or other protected class. The full Assembly unanimously passed the legislation on Thursday June 18th. Learn More.
- Assembly Bill 744 – Requires law enforcement agencies to provide internal affairs and personnel files of law enforcement officers to other agencies under certain circumstances. This bill passed the full Assembly voted 78-0-0 on Thursday June 18th. Learn More.
- Assembly Bill 4263 – Clarifies that law enforcement officer who knowingly chokes another person engages in use of deadly force. This bill passed the full Assembly 72-1-5 on Thursday June 18th. Learn More.
- Senate Bill 2689 & Assembly Bill 3641 – Requires DLPS to incorporate implicit bias in cultural diversity training materials for law enforcement officers; makes mandatory cultural diversity and implicit bias training for law enforcement officers. This bill passed the full Assembly Thursday June 18th 77-0-1. Learn More.
- Assembly Bill 711 & Senate Bill 322 – An Act establishing the “New Jersey Reparations Task Force” to conduct research and develop reparatory proposals and recommendations to address the generational harms caused by New Jersey’s role in America’s institution of slavery and its legacy of systemic racial discrimination. Learn More.
- Senate Bill 2656 & Assembly Bill 4283– Requires access to law enforcement disciplinary records as government records; requires such records to be retained for certain period of time. Learn More.
PEACE Act – The PEACE Act would change the use of force to be a last resort, rather than a first resort, and require officers to employ de-escalation techniques.
- The use of force reform legislation would also require states who wish to continue receiving public safety funding from the U.S. Department of Justice to enact similar legislation to require a comparable standard for local police officers. The federal effort builds on California’s historic legislation (AB 392, “Act to Save Lives”) enshrining the “necessity” standard. The bill is endorsed by: National Action Network (NAN), NAACP, ACLU, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, NAACP – Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF), Amnesty International, Drug Policy Alliance, Bend the Arc: Jewish Action. Learn More.
- Congresswomen Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) and Ilhan Omar (MN-05), in partnership with Congresswoman Karen Bass (CA-37), Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13), introduced a resolution to condemn police brutality, racial profiling and the excessive use of force. The resolution comes days after the murder of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis, as well as the recent murder of Breonna Taylor by police in Louisville, Kentucky and the hundreds of other lives robbed by police violence.
- In addition to calling on the House of Representatives to condemn all acts of police brutality, racial profiling and excessive use of force, the resolution calls for the adoption of reforms and policies at all levels of government to end these injustices.
- Call your Congressional Representative to support this bill or call (202) 224-3121 for the Capitol Switchboard- they can connect you with your Representative in Congress.
Federal Bills to watch include:
- Rep Brian Schwatz (D-HI) amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act
- Harris, Markey, Booker Introduce Senate Resolution to Abolish Qualified Immunity for Law Enforcement, Hold Officers Accountable for Police Brutality
- The George Floyd Law Enforcement Trust and Integrity Act from Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, and co-sponsored by Reps. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., Jason Crow, D-Colo., and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., calls for new national policing standards and accreditations.
- Justice in Policing Act – As currently proposed, it would significantly change federal law and require states and localities to make modifications of their own, such as instituting mandatory bias training, to receive federal funds. It would create a national registry to track police misconduct and require that law enforcement agencies report data on the use of force, as well as ban certain chokeholds and other practices that were used in confrontations with the police that left black Americans dead.
- H.R. 40 [Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee] – Contact your Congressional Representative and ask them to support H.R. 40: Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act. This bill establishes the Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African-Americans. The commission shall examine slavery and discrimination in the colonies and the United States from 1619 to the present and recommend appropriate remedies. Among other requirements, the commission shall identify (1) the role of federal and state governments in supporting the institution of slavery, (2) forms of discrimination in the public and private sectors against freed slaves and their descendants, and (3) lingering negative effects of slavery on living African-Americans and society. Learn more from ACLU. Copy of Bill H.R. 40.
Congressman Frank Pallone Contact (representing the 6th Congressional District of NJ)