As protests continue to spread across the United States following the Eric Garner and Michael Brown grand jury decisions, you might be wondering what else you can do to help. We've talked about ways you can help Eric Garner's family directly, and while it's fundamental to ensure the families of victims have adequate support during this time, it's also important to make sure the conversation about racially-motivated police brutality does not end. This is, in part, is done by writing to your local, state, and national representatives, and by signing petitions to end police brutality.
There are also a number of petitions circulating, which not only aim to help bring justice to Eric Garner and his family but to change police procedures to prevent incidents like this from happening again. Petitions, while seemingly outdated, continue to be an important part of American democracy — they are, after all, the easiest way to communicate with leaders en masse about the issues Americans are concerned with. After all, the White House has to respond to every petition with 100,000 signatures or more.
Ask The NYPD To Fire Daniel Pantaleo
There are currently three petitions to NYPD Commissioner William J. Bratton, asking him to fire Officer Daniel Pantaleo for violating NYPD chokehold laws. One reads:
It is a great injustice that the officer will face no charges and has simply been placed on leave. The video shows he is entirely unfit to hold this position of power, and the NYPD needs to take a real stand against this act of brutality.
Ask That St. Louis County Officers Wear Body Cameras
As Ferguson continues to heal as a community, this Administration will continue to work to ensure that our justice system, across the country, is truly just. We'll continue to work to support the use of video technology, review and evaluate law enforcement agencies that use it, and continue to engage in discussions about how this technology impacts policing, communities, and public safety.
Demand An End To Police Brutality
This petition calls for the Attorney General to review police brutality cases in order to avoid leaving them in the hands of department commissioners, who may be biased. You can sign it here.
Suspend Weapon Transfer Program So Police Don't Have Military-Grade Weapons
If you watched coverage of Ferguson, you might've be surprised at how much artillery their police department has. This is thanks to the 1033 Weapons Transfer Program, which means weapons are being sent to small police departments from the Pentagon. According to these two petition, at least $4 billion of equipment has been distributed through this program. This petition calls for the program's suspension; you can sign here and here.
Call What Police Placed Eric Garner In What It Was: A Choke
A martial arts practitioner started a petition to call what Officer Daniel Pantaleo performed on Eric Garner a chokehold, since the move bears an uncanny resemblance to a martial arts move. This could change the tone of the case in a serious way should a federal investigation be launched. You can sign it here.
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