Write Your Representative to Speak Out for Police Reform and BLM Protestors
We all need to use our political powers to support police reform and stand up for the Black Lives Matter movement. In addition to voting in every election and giving your business to companies that reflect your values, you should also regularly voice your concerns directly to your political representatives. You can find the name of your federal, state, and local representatives via the Common Cause online database tool.
I wrote the letter below and sent it to all my representatives, and I urge you to do the same. Speak up for causes that matter to you, and create a dialogue with your political representatives about matters local, state, and national. It’s your right and your civic duty to do so.
As an attorney-at-law practicing in NY, CA, MA, DC, and WA, I write for your attention and action.
I need you to speak out far more publicly and vociferously:
1. In support of the Black Lives Matter protestors and their agenda for
a. serious police reform;
b. outlawing of brutal police tactics such as neck restraints;
c. ending wanton police firearm use in situations that require social services, non-violent forms of intervention, and lesser forms of suspect threat neutralization;
d. encouraging community oversight and full access to complaint files about police personnel, who are after all public servants
e. implementing greater diversity in police departments so as to include women and people of color in positions of power and supervisory roles
f. rolling back the militarization of the police, who certainly do not need and should not possess the kind of military defensive and offensive tools and weaponry that they currently possess and use, which simply exacerbates police aggression and misconduct that leads to civilian injuries and deaths in violation of civil rights;
g. and activating other modules of police reform as suggested by the NAACP’s deeply researched and thoughtful toolkit on their website, see: see: https://www.naacp.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Toolkit.pdf.
2. In support of police reform policies such as the Safer New York Act, see: https://www.changethenypd.org/safer-ny
3. In support of the public effort to repeal laws such as NY State Law 50A (“which keeps police disciplinary and complaint records, and even footage from police body cameras hidden from public review”, see: https://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/news/2019/10/17/advocates-rally-to-repeal-50a-law)
4. In support of budget proposals such as that promoted by NYC Council-members Corey Johnson, Vanessa Gibson, and Daniel Dromm, see: https://www.changethenypd.org/nycbudgetjustice, which encourages addressing the $9 billion budgetary shortfall in NYC by also cutting the NYPD budget in equal fashion to that of other NYC services, rather than the Mayor’s problematic proposal to leave the NYPD budget untouched.
We must end police violence. We must support civil rights.
We need your voice amplified in public airways, and we need you to propose and support legislation that will reform the ugly police tactics we see repeated for decades to this very day.
There is no political balancing act that will justify you doing anything less, because if things do not change, we will vote you out.
Ali Shahrestani, Esq.