SINGLE BIGGEST SOLUTION TO ELIMINATE POLICE BRUTALITY AND MURDER
The single, most important action we can take to eliminate police brutality and murder is to decriminalize non-violent misdemeanor offenses.
I drafted a bill I call, “The Duante Wright Act” (in deference to the horrific, needless killing of Duante Wright as police were attempting to enforce a non-violent misdemeanor warrant) which would decriminalize all non-violent misdemeanor offenses. If a person fails to appear for a misdemeanor court date, then that person’s driver’s license is suspended until the absentee shows up to court to resolve their misdemeanor case.
The great majority of police excessive force complaints would have never occurred had all non-violent misdemeanor offenses been decriminalized. I cannot emphasize this enough.
The math reflects the reality of the situation:
*15 million arrests a year;
*80% or more of those 15 million arrests are misdemeanor arrests;
*decriminalizing all non-violent misdemeanor offenses would in fact categorically eliminate 75-80% of all 15 million arrests made in America each year;
*would categorically and literally eliminate the great majority of ALL POLICE BRUTALITY AND MURDER currently going unchecked.
I was the victim of extreme police brutality and I have spent a long time thinking about these issues.
This is why I believe “The Duante Wright Act” could and should be the single best, fastest and most direct route towards ending police brutality and murder in America.
A majority of 911 calls DO NOT REQUIRE dispatching armed, uniformed officers. The great majority of 911 calls are non-violent, non-emergency issues, medical assistance issues, non-violent domestic issues.
Police Data shows that of more than 10.5 million arrests made every year, the bulk are for noncriminal behavior, drug violations, and low-level offenses.
If we eliminate non-violent misdemeanor arrests, we categorically eliminate the great majority of police brutality/murder cases.
Did you know the nationwide average for felony arrest per officer is approx. one felony arrest per year?
Most of the arrests an officer makes annually and in his or her career are misdemeanor arrests.
We are spending about $150 billion a year on 800,000 police officers to make about 10 million arrests (mostly misdemeanor crimes and traffic infractions) which comes to about $15,000 per arrest.
Felony arrests per officer are far less frequent than most people realize: eliminate all non-violent misdemeanors from arrest and you just eliminated the great majority of all police brutality/murder cases.
The Scale of Misdemeanor Justice: “The first notable fact the data reveal is no surprise: the volume of misdemeanor cases is very high. By the NCSC’s accounting, misdemeanor cases represent approximately three-quarters of the criminal justice cases processed in the United States.”
Instead of an officer arresting you for a non-violent misdemeanor offense, the officer issues you a citation with a court date. Then, if and when one fails to appear in court on a misdemeanor case, your driver’s license is suspended – you’re unable to renew until you go to court and clear up your misdemeanor case.
This federal law would eliminate the possibility of police brutality and murder during non-violent misdemeanor events/arrests.
SOLUTIONS: How do you fix 18,000 police departments? ABOLISH AND REPLACE WITH A FEDERAL POLICE FORCE
ABOLISH AND REPLACE 18,000 POLICE DEPARTMENTS WITH A FEDERAL POLICE FORCE ONE-THIRD THE SIZE OF ALL 18,000 POLICE DEPTS. COMBINED
THE SOLUTION is to pass a federal amendment creating a national police force while simultaneously disbanding all 18,000 police departments.
It is essential one realize you are not going to “fix” these 18,000 police departments one at a time.
It is essential one recognize that institutionalized racism, bad department/municipal policies and practices permeate virtually every single one of the 18,000 police departments in America.
Take the problem of police unions protecting accused cops from justice, the problem of institutionalized racism, the problem of police investigating police, and multiply these problems by 18,000 police depts. and one can see the difficulty.
THE POLICE PROBLEM is solved by federalizing our nations’ 18,000 police departments under one federal police force operating under federal guidelines, hiring & disciplinary practices including Dept. of Justice oversight of citizen complaints against officers.
MUNICIPAL BUDGETARY PROBLEMS are virtually eliminated and solved with a federally-funded federal police force, thereby freeing up half a city’s budget by ELIMINATING THE ENTIRE POLICE DEPT. BUDGET LINE.
This new “Federal Police Force” would serve as a “Crimes Against Persons Unit” only RESPONDING WHEN 911 CALL CENTERS ROUTE emergency calls involving violence or credible threats of violence, i.e., rape, robbery, assault, murder and property crimes.
You could bring a police chief from each major city to testify to Congress the FACT that well below 50% of all 911 calls require armed personnel response. The great majority of 911 calls need UNARMED COMMUNITY RESPONSE – not an armed “Federal Police Force” response.
The benefits of operating a “Federal Police Force” are immense:
*approx. one-third the size of all 18,000 police depts. in the aggregate;
*frees up half a municipal budget for each city due to the elimination of a municipality’s police budget; currently and traditionally, over half of a city’s budget goes to the local police department;
*brand new hiring and training practices, including robust, innovative psychological profiling of police candidates;
*U.S. Justice Dept. replacing “cops investigating cops” investigating and prosecuting use of force complaints;
*Local prosecution of police officers under local/state laws are a waste of time, money and energy; instead, police officers should be indicted, prosecuted, convicted and sentenced under U.S.C. TITLE 18, SEC. 242 in a federal courtroom;
The concept of a new “Federal Police Force” features federal law enforcement of our civil and constitutional rights.
Perhaps you’re not familiar with one of the most, if not the most important federal law on the books: U.S.C. TITLE 18, SEC. 242 Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law.
The law is straightforward: Basically any person acting under color of law who violates a person’s civil/constitutional rights is guilty of violating this law and it carries a minimum penalty of one year in federal prison and up to life in prison, depending upon the severity of the violation.
Police officers, elected or unelected officials, nursing home administrators, anyone whose employment position requires one to follow a set of local, county, state or federal laws, rules, regulations or guidelines is a PERSON ACTING UNDER COLOR OF LAW.
Every person acting under color of law OWES A STATUTORY AND CONSTITUTIONAL DUTY to uphold the constitutional rights of any person they encounter in the course of their employment.
When a person acting under color of law violates a person’s constitutional rights, they violate U.S.C. TITLE 18, SEC. 242 and are subject to be prosecuted and sent to federal prison under said federal law. Penalty range is from one year in federal prison up to life in prison, depending upon the severity of the offense.
This is what is missing in America, in Washington, in Americans’ lives.
San Francisco and Denver have already begun dispatching non-police services to non-violent 911 calls and have enjoyed great success in addressing these calls.
We will always need armed police response for crimes against persons: rape, robbery, murder. The realization is in recognizing that the majority of 911 calls in America’s cities are much better addressed and matched by dispatching appropriate non-police personnel to non-violent 911 calls. “Defunding the police” is actually the public’s attempt to recognize and address the community’s need to more accurately and responsibly address 911 calls.
The police killing of Rayshard Brooks is a prime example of how legislative fixes could save lives. If police pull over a suspected drunk driver or encounter a suspected drunk driver in a parking lot, and if that driver fails a sobriety test, police should do the following:
1) Notify the driver he or she failed the test;
2) Inform the driver their vehicle is being booted or give the driver opportunity to summon a tow truck; police informs driver will call you a ride home.
3) Issue the driver a ticket with a court date;
4) Everyone leaves the scene alive. Mission accomplished.
This kind of rethinking and recategorizing misdemeanors would surely eliminate the majority of police brutality and murder, since most police brutality occurs during misdemeanor events, since people commit misdemeanors far more frequently than felonies.
A big problem for people living in a community is their local government using the police to enforce municipal laws designed to generate a revenue stream for municipal budget demands.
Here’s my idea to solve that problem: Solving Municipal Budget Problems In Exchange for Guideline Compliance >>>
We need to rethink and recalibrate community response to traffic offenses. Clearly We the People of a community also suffer traffic enforcement quotas. Police departments institute traffic ticket quotas to meet municipal budget demands. Police officers are required to meet traffic ticket quotas to keep their jobs. Scores of police brutality and murder has occurred during a traffic stop.
I believe we should not assign traffic duty to armed police officers but employ non-police personnel instead – but only if a community de-criminalizes non-violent misdemeanor offenses. The safety of the officers and drivers are more important than arresting a driver on a outstanding warrant. Drivers need to know if and when a traffic officer stops the driver, that driver knows he will not be shot or beaten in an attempt to arrest the driver.
Many communities rely upon traffic fine revenue to fund a community’s budget. If Congress abolishes all 18,000 police departments and replaces them all with a federal police force approx. one-third the size of all 18,000 police depts., the elimination of those police depts. would also eliminate approx. half the cost of a community paying for a police department, which routinely eats over half a municipality’s budget.
Communities could still raise revenue by enforcing speeding laws WITHOUT armed police officers doing the job: in many countries in Europe, there are cameras along the roadway. They capture your license plate at point A, then a mile or two down the road they capture your license plate at point B. If you travelled from point A to point B in less time than it should take given the speed limit – then you are obviously speeding. They send you a speeding ticket. Easy peasy.