The star is a symbol used as a badge in law enforcement agencies across the country. Chronic injustice perpetuated by bad police officers continues to have lethal consequences and puts good police officers in harm’s way. This issue continues to divide our country. There is a tremendous need to reform policing to preserve life so all communities may have faith that the star is a symbol of protection for all people. There is a clear path to solving this issue – eliminating dangerous practices, bad officers, and the policies that protect them.
STAReform Unity Statement
America is only as strong as our will to stand against injustice,
We choose to put human life and our country above a justice system that produces and protects bad police officers,
No one should live in fear that a bad police officer will take their last breath,
Good police officers should not be put at risk for the actions of bad police officers,
We are stronger than efforts that fan the flames of division,
We will not give in to rhetoric that dehumanizes people to make it easier to harm them,
We are all human beings, it’s not us vs. them,
We will not allow dark times to blind us to the path for restoration and justice,
We will do the hard work today to stop the cycle of injustice from flaring tomorrow,
We denounce violence, looting, and property damage and will only pursue peaceful action to push for reform,
We are committed to banishing dangerous practices, bad police officers, and the policies that protect them,
It may feel like we are divided as a nation, but we can solve this together by pursuing STAReform.
STAReform - Policing Reforms
- Eliminate neck restraints and carotid holds.
- Prohibit “no knock” raids and warrants in investigations where an imminent threat of harm, terrorism, or a hostage situation does not exist.
- Change use of force standards from “reasonable” to “necessary”.
- Change police misconduct prosecution standards from “willfulness” to “recklessness”.
- Ensure 24/7 deployment of mental health professional with law enforcement officer for calls regarding the mentally ill.
- Mandate that dashboard and body cameras stay on while officer is on duty and not working undercover.
- Release video and audio of serious officer involved use of force within 21 days of a misconduct complaint.
- Require officers to provide information about how to properly make a complaint upon request.
- Terminate officers for falsifying a police report or for knowingly verifying a false police report.
- Require officers to report misconduct by fellow officers.
- Preserve all personnel files and records of complaints, investigations, and use of force.
- Maintain public and easily accessible online registry of reports of all sustained police misconduct complaints, threats to use deadly force, and the use of force disaggregated by race, ethnicity, gender, disability, and age.
Improved Hiring and Screening
- Prohibit the hiring of officers that were terminated for or have an unresolved investigation of misconduct or domestic abuse.
- Require up-to-date psychological testing prior to hiring, prior to each significant change of assignment, at least every two years, and prior to a return to work assignment after a long-term leave.
Fairness in Investigations, Prosecutions, and Early Warning System
- Grant the US Justice Department and state attorneys general subpoena power and authority to conduct independent pattern and practice investigations and pursue legal action against problematic police departments.
- Mandate that autopsies for officer-involved fatalities be conducted by independent medical examiners.
- Use of independent prosecutor to investigate or charge an officer for use of deadly force.
- Require a drug and alcohol test within one hour for a law enforcement officer involved in a shooting.
- Establish a properly funded independent oversight agency comprised of civilians from the community with qualifications that can review and investigate officer misconduct, use of force complaints, investigations, and disciplinary actions. Agency should have subpoena power, and access to department documents, evidence and independent legal counsel. It should have the power to discipline officers who were not held accountable for sustained misconduct complaints, discipline supervisors for failing to discipline officers for sustained misconduct complaints and make recommendations with input from the community for improved policing policies and practices.
- Maintain early warning system with regular auditing to identify abusive officers and biased local prosecutors.
- End qualified immunity for police officers found to have violated a person’s constitutional rights.
Eliminate Discrimination and Excessive Force, Implement De-escalation
- Regular mental health and non-discrimination training; and up-to-date racial sensitivity inclusion in psychological testing.
- Prohibit officer training that promotes racial discrimination, profiling, or noncompliance with local, state, or federal law.
- Maintain policies and procedures to eliminate racial profiling.
- Termination for the use of derogatory language regarding a person’s race, ethnicity, gender, LGBTQ status, or religion.
- Termination of officers found to be assisting, colluding with, participating with, or promoting a vigilante group, an illegal militia, a police gang or a hate group.
- Termination of officers convicted of domestic violence.
- Require officers to intervene when witnessing police misconduct, and protect reporting officers from retaliation.
- Make de-escalation and crisis intervention best practices part of regular training.
- Require officers to use de-escalation and crisis intervention tactics when possible prior to using force.
- Require officers to promptly state legal reason for requiring a person to stop, answer questions, when conducting a search or seizure, or upon making an arrest, as soon as it is safe for the officer to do so.
- Prohibit use of “consent searches” where there is no legal justification to conduct a search.
- Prohibit quotas to issue citations or make arrests.
- Ensure peaceful protestors have a safe place to assemble and prohibit use of force against protestors who are not breaking the law.
- Commit to monitoring and adopting ongoing best practices to ensure fair policing and prosecutions.