Over the last week or so, police brutality has come to the forefront of nationwide conversation. And for good reason! According to mappingpoliceviolence.org, 1,098 people were killed by police in 2019. Of those killed, Black people made up 24% despite being only 13% of the population. Not to mention, 99% of police killings from 2013-2019 resulted in no criminal charges for officers.
Campaign Zero, a solutions platform calling for policy changes in the police force, intends to actually do something about the issue of police brutality. Their current #8CANTWAIT program has garnered much attention across social media, with more than 30,000 posts on Instagram.
What Is It?
The #8CANTWAIT project was created based on data gathered by Campaign Zero. The data shows that the following eight policies can decrease police violence by 72%.
Although few in numbers, police departments that have implemented these policies against police violence have seen decreases in officer related killings. With all eight policies combined, that decrease will become even more significant. Here’s what each policy means.
BAN CHOKEHOLDS AND STRANGLEHOLDS
- The first policy acknowledges police officers’ unnecessary use of chokeholds and strangleholds that may result in avoidable deaths or serious injuries. If in effect, the policy requires that officers use less lethal force instead.
- This policy requires officers to de-escalate situations, when possible, through communication and maintaining distance. In turn, this eliminates the need to use force against a civilian.
REQUIRE WARNING BEFORE SHOOTING
- The third policy requires police officers to give a verbal warning, when possible, before shooting at a subject.
EXHAUST ALL OTHER MEANS BEFORE SHOOTING
- This policy helps decrease the use of deadly force by requiring officers to exhaust all other reasonable means first.
DUTY TO INTERVENE
- The Duty to Intervene policy requires officers to intervene when another officer is using excessive force. It also requires that officers report these incidents to a supervisor immediately.
BAN SHOOTING AT MOVING VEHICLES
- According to Campaign Zero, shooting at a moving vehicle is regarded as a particularly dangerous and ineffective tactic. This policy bans officers from doing so.
REQUIRE USE OF FORCE CONTINUUM
- This policy requires a Force Continuum to be in effect to limit the types of force and/or weapons that can be used to respond to specific types of resistance.
REQUIRE COMPREHENSIVE REPORTING
- Finally, the last policy requires officers to thoroughly report each time they use force or threaten to use force against civilians.
What Can You Do?
While some cities and states do have some of these policies in effect, it’s simply not enough. Campaign Zero encourages the entire US to implement all eight policies for best results. To help get your local authorities to implement such policies, here’s what you can do.
CONTACT YOUR MAYOR
- Click here for an automated email draft that you can send to your local legislature to demand the use of all #8CANTWAIT policies. You can also click here to find your mayor’s additional contact info.
SPREAD THE WORD
- Go to 8cantwait.org to download images for your city to share on Instagram. Additionally, ask your followers to join you in demanding change in your local police force.
For more information, click here to access Campaign Zero’s use of force database containing information on the 100 largest US cities. And be sure to check out their police use of force policy analysis here.