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.
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 Duante Wright is a prime example of how legislative fixes could save lives: Had we decriminalized non-violent misdemeanors in the past, Duante Wright and many more like him would still be alive. Human life is worth more than a local government enforcing administrative laws on the side of the road, for cash and prizes.
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.
STOP SENDING AMERICAN POLICE TO ISRAEL FOR TERRORIST TRAINING
In 2002, just months after 9/11, American police officers held their first official training expedition to Israel to learn about “counter-terrorism.” Since then, hundreds of law enforcement officials and government agents from across the country have been sent to Israel to meet with military and police forces, and thousands more have participated in conferences, trainings, and workshops with Israeli officials in the United States.
The American and Israeli governments justify these exchanges on the grounds that the United States and Israel share the mission of the War on Terror. American facilitators and participants of these programs similarly argue that the United States and Israel are allied democracies whose law enforcement agencies play a crucial role in preserving national security.
While framed as an opportunity for US law enforcement to learn policing strategies from a closely aligned democracy with counter-terror experience, in fact these are trainings with an occupying force that rules a population deprived of human and civil rights. Rather than promoting security for all, these programs facilitate an exchange of methods of state violence and control, including mass surveillance, racial profiling, and suppression of protest and dissent.
One of the organizations that organize and sponsor these trainings is the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). The ADL is a non-profit that works to combat anti-Semitism and advocate for Israel. In this context, the ADL runs a National Counter-Terrorism Seminar that has sent hundreds of top ranking officials to Israel to learn about combatting terror since 2003. That same year the ADL established an Advanced Training School that brings delegations of Israeli law enforcement to speak to American law enforcement officials, involving over 1,000 U.S. participants since the program began.
The Police of Albuquerque, New Mexico, is among the departments that have sent delegates to Israel. Officials serving in the Albuquerque Police Department attended a training in Israel with the ADL as delegates of the National Counter Terrorism Seminar (NCTS) in 2011. A 16-month investigation by the Department of Justice found that the Albuquerque Police Department engaged in a pattern or practice of excessive force, including deadly force.