A cohort of racial justice and civil rights organizations delivered a petition advocating for major police reforms to the Department of Justice this afternoon. With more than 500,000 signatures, the petition urges the White House to defund police departments that reject community-based reforms. It also calls for justice in the fatal police shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.
Color of Change, which led the effort, partnered with Advancement Project, BYP100, the Movement for Black Lives Policy Table, Black Lives Matter and the NAACP for a 2 p.m. press conference. The petition reads:
Our criminal justice system is not properly holding police accountable. We must defund police departments that employ officers who are quick to kill and condone practices that do not value Black life. Our nation, politicians and many police are in agreement that police departments need reform, however, no one is ensuring this reform happens—and more and more Black people are getting killed because of it.
Yesterday (Aug. 2), East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner Beau Clark coroner told the Associated Press that the Sterling autopsy report would not be be made public due to a federal court order. On Monday, a Baltimore County SWAT team killed 23-year-old Korryn Gaines at her home while executing warrants for traffic tickets, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest during a traffic stop. Gaines’ 5-year-old son was shot during the hours-long encounter in which police say she brandished and fired a shotgun. Gaines’ shooting comes less than a month after police killed Sterling and Castile and the shooting deaths of eight offiers in Dallas and Baton Rouge.