One major problem with the current criminal justice system is with interactions between civilians and the police. Unfortunately, for people of color (for the most part), these interactions often lead to violence and cases of police brutality and misconduct. Knowing people who work in law enforcement, I can say with confidence that a vast majority of them are hard working, honest and want to serve their community. As a State Senator, I will make sure that our police have the equipment they need to perform their jobs, but if any officer breaks the law, they must be held accountable as any other citizen would be.
I propose that any type of police shooting (whether resulting in a fatality or not) must be reviewed by the State Attorney General. From there, the AG will refer the case to a special prosecutor. Because of potential bias by the local district attorney, due to the partnership between the police and local district attorney, in order to guarantee a fair investigation, the special prosecutor must work 50 miles from the place of the incident. My campaign is also open to the idea of a police review board in place of review by the State Attorney General. The board would have the authority to take testimony of individuals at the incident, would have the authority to subpoena certain individuals to appear before the panel, among others. The members comprising this board is yet to be determined.
Black Lives Matter
In response to the systemic and institutionalized racism faced by minorities in this country (African Americans, in particular), activists have attempted to raise the social consciousness of the public concerning these issues. From covert discrimination in the workplace, to conditions of economic and environmental racism, to racial profiling and violence at the hands of police, these people have organized under the banner of the Black Lives Matter movement. As a State Senator candidate, I affirm my support for the Black Lives Matter movement and pledge to work with BLM to see to it that we have a more inclusive society that grants equal opportunity to all and that values all lives equally.
Due to cases of police brutality, the trust between police and the public has eroded. In order for both the public to feel safe and that the local police is work for them, and likewise, for the police to gain the trust and cooperation of the public, the police should represent the people they serve and who live in the general area. As State Senator, I will propose legislation that will promote community policing. Likewise, the police do not need military equipment to patrol the city. So, as State Senator, I will promote the de-militarization of local police departments. It is my hope that local police departments take a de-escalation first mindset over a shoot first, ask questions later, attitude.