Campaign Zero becomes more comprehensive and visionary as feedback is received. Here is your feedback and how it has influenced the platform. Continue to share your policy ideas here or share general feedback at [email protected]. More updates will be posted below as feedback continues to be received, processed and addressed.
NY Mag Response
The diversion programs suggested in the "A positive vision of urban policing" section of the article represent an important transition from incarceration to supporting those who need help with addiction, mental health or economic issues. These diversion programs, however, involve police officers in arresting and transporting people suspected of minor non-violent offenses to social service providers.
As Campaign Zero has advocated within the "End Broken Windows" solution area, mental health professionals and social service providers should be responding to these situations directly instead of relying exclusively on police to interact initially with these individuals.
With regards to "A broader public-safety agenda," while action to address community violence is ongoing and important, Campaign Zero is a campaign focused on ending police violence. Police violence is not an unavoidable consequence of policing in high crime areas. Police do not need to kill people to address criminal activity. Cities with the highest rates of crime in the nation, such as Newark, have reduced crime rates without police killing black people. Other cities with the same levels of crime and demographics, such as St. Louis, have killed over a dozen black people in the same time period. Violent police departments like St. Louis Metro PD need to change, Newark shows that it can be done, and Campaign Zero is a blueprint for the kinds of policies that need to be implemented to get there.
With regards to the suggestions in the "Common ground with police on gun policy" section, it is not clear that more restrictions on guns would, overall, reduce police violence. Most people killed by police were not carrying a firearm. And while America has more guns than many other developed nations, the difference in gun homicides between America and European countries is not nearly as large as the difference in police killings. Furthermore, gun control also contributes to police violence in many cases. At least 30 people were killed in 2014 after police engaged them for possessing an illegal firearm. 40% of these people were black. More research needs to be done to determine whether gun restrictions (i.e. criminalizing guns and those who carry illegal guns) will reduce or increase police killings - particularly of black people.
Response to Vox
It is true that a focus on policing policies alone will likely not be enough to eliminate all police violence in America. It will take many strategies to achieve this goal. This includes policy changes as well as changes to a broader culture and society that devalues black lives and legitimizes violent acts by police officers.
However, police violence will not be eliminated without the kinds of meaningful, comprehensive policy changes at all levels of government that Campaign Zero has proposed. As such, these policy changes are necessary to achieving a world where the police don't kill people.
Response to NY Daily News
It is true that the urgency of particular policy solutions within Campaign Zero will depend on the particular needs of each community. As cited in this article, large cities like New York City have huge operating budgets that are much less dependent on fines and fees. As such, these cities should have a cap on fines and fees that is much lower than Campaign Zero's recommended 10% cap. New York City also faces unique threats from terrorists and should have the means to effectively protect its citizens.
However, even in a city with legitimate concerns of terror threats, police should not be using military weapons against civilians who do not pose such a threat - as they did against protesters last December. Furthermore, there is no clear evidence that Broken Windows policing and Stop-and-Frisk practices were responsible for "reclaiming the city from broader violence."
Response to The Spectator
Campaign Zero proposals regarding police use of force, community oversight and body cameras are designed to protect and preserve life. While a few of these policies may currently be in place in a given police department, no police department has implemented all - or even close to all - of Campaign Zero's policy solutions. With regard to use of force policies, 13 states don't have any policy delineating when police can use of deadly force, few police departments prohibit officers from shooting at moving vehicles, and only a handful of departments report data on officer-involved shootings (let alone other uses of force).
The article also asserts that civilians should not have formal mechanisms through which they can directly hold police officers accountable. This fails to respect the knowledge and experiences that community members bring to the table and would deny them a critical tool for holding the police accountable. Ultimately, the people most impacted by police should have the power to influence how they are policed and, ultimately, how officers are held accountable when they fail to uphold these standards of conduct.
Finally, the article asserts that police officers should be allowed to view footage of incidents before making statements. This would give the police special access to information that would actually make them less accountable. Viewing the footage of an incident before making a statement would unduly influence an officer's recollection of facts, based on knowledge of what was and/or wasn't recorded, in ways that increase the likelihood of bias and falsehoods. Like all public servants, police derive their power from citizens. Given that they are entrusted with the power to take life, police officers should be held to the highest standards of accountability to these citizens.