CHANGE THE SYSTEM. #DefundTheNYPD #DemilitarizeTheNYPD #BlackLivesMatter #BLM #Justice4George #TransformThePolice

CHANGE THE SYSTEM: At the protest and march from City Hall to uptown yesterday. This reminds me of my Occupy Street Wall Street days in 2011 and I am so thrilled to see the young generation out in full force, demanding police reform and an end to racial injustice and the police brutality of black men and women.

Do you know what young people refuse ? The concept of “incrementalism,” baby steps that do nothing to solve the crisis — but I am hopeful: millions want real change, and they are not going to take no for an answer.

Here’s my take on things: that although Congress and elected officials are talking about different legislative police reforms, we must keep pushing to ensure these reforms take place. 

Dismantling and defunding the NYPD means primarily to defund and demilitarize the NYPD and put that money towards communities of color. This also means that the old model of policing, retributive and shooting to kill other human beings must transform so black lives are not being killed. This may mean a number of reforms, looking at show of force policies and a true push towards de-escalation and a community/public safety type of model — so violence is not used on it’s own citizens.

Also, public transparency for disciplinary records, as well as bringing in new leadership, enhanced diversity of officers, as well as weeding out corrupt police or police that are not open to these new changes. It also means getting rid of the qualified immunity doctrine, which will not allow police to be above the law.

Also, there should be a push towards congressional reforms on the federal level, and funding must be tied to local town, city and state law-enforcement agencies that adopt these reforms, since policies are usually made at the local level. And moreover, federal, state and city monitors for departments slow to change, with predominant amount of citizenry and activists on their boards — not the police, since police monitoring themselves would lead to a conflict of interest.

These reforms does not mean completely abolish the police, but again — to transform the department where the public safety is the priority. Police should not be called when the issue is mental health or homelessness, we need to create industry and community led groups with specific training and know-how to tackle these social problems. The police need to see citizens in their communities not as “the enemy,” but people who they serve and protect.

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