Common Ground's Proposal for Police Oversight Builds Momentum in Vallejo, California
While no formal vote was held, the council said it wanted to see more of a model presented by Common Ground, a non-partisan group of religious and non-profit organizations in Solano and Napa counties, which is advocating for a three-prong approach: a civilian police commission, inspector general, and community police review agency.
The commission made up of Vallejo residents would be tasked with overseeing a review agency, which would investigate officer use of force, including fatal shootings by officers, any in-custody deaths, and allegations of racial profiling by officers....
“We believe the above components provide the transparency and the community involvement needed to establish police oversight and are a critical step in restoring trust between law enforcement and the community,” said Renee Sykes, a member of Common Ground’s public safety committee. “The national spotlight is still on Vallejo, and it will not be shut off until there is a concerted effort on everyone’s part to make a change.”
Vallejo City Council Shows Early Support for Forming Strong Police Commission, Vallejo Sun [pdf]
Vallejo Trying to Meet ‘Common Ground’ Concerning Police Oversight, Times Herald [pdf]
Together New Orleans Demands That Local Police Be Required to Release Body Camera Footage Upon Demand
Together New Orleans, in partnership with Together Louisiana, is calling on the City Council of New Orleans to change Police Department policy to allow for immediate review of body camera footage, on demand. While a process does exist for footage release, it usually requires a public records request and internal process that often results in release of essential footage years after an event.
Together New Orleans Asks Council to Take Action on NOPD Body Camera Release Policy, WDSU
DAI Response to Tarrant County Sheriff: Build Trust with Community
After the sheriff of Tarrant County mistakenly argued that 'drunk' immigrants were going to 'run over your children,' Dallas Area Interfaith organizer Josephine Lopez-Paul called on the public official to build trust rather than spread lies, referencing an independent study by the CATO Institute that documented a dramatically lower crime rate among unauthorized Texas immigrants compared to their native-born counterparts.
"In these polarized times, what he should be doing is building trust," commented Lopez-Paul.
Tarrant County Sheriff Calls Migrants Facing DWI Charges 'Drunks' Who 'Will Run Over Your Children', Dallas Morning News
Valley Interfaith Launches Parish ID Strategy with 3 Police Departments and Catholic Diocese of Brownsville
500 Valley Interfaith leaders packed the Pharr Development and Research Center to publicly launch a parish ID strategy for the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Developed in collaboration with the Catholic Diocese of Brownsville, Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley and three law enforcement agencies, parish-issued identification cards will show a picture of the cardholder, name, date of birth, address and how long the cardholder has been a member of their parish.
Representatives from the police departments of Pharr, McAllen and Edinburg participated in the assembly, pledging to accept these cards as a form of valid identification in the event anyone needs to identify themselves to the police -- whether on a traffic stop or when filing a report.
Edinburg Police Chief Cesar Torres said that he likes the idea of the ID card because "right now we have a lot of victims that are from across (the border). They don’t call the police department when they are victimized because they are afraid of being deported. If we recognize some type of ID, they’ll feel more comfortable and call us when crimes do occur.”
Said Fr. Kevin Collins of St. Eugene de Mazenod parish in Brownsville, “I’m very excited about this event tonight because we have a lot of people coming who hope to change their lives, to have less fear in their lives, and to live with more human dignity in their homes and their neighborhoods.”
[Photo Credit: Francisco E. Jimenez, The Monitor]
IDs Give Parishioners Way to Say, 'I Belong,' Regardless of Legal Status, National Catholic Reporter [pdf]
Diocese, Valley Interfaith Team Up to Offer a New Kind of ID, The Valley Catholic
Vally Nonprofit Announces ID Strategy in Parishes, KRGTV
Valley Interfaith Clarifies Parish ID Strategy, The Monitor
Valley Interfaith to Launch Local Parish ID Strategy, The Monitor [pdf]
For Immigrants Without State ID, DAI Negotiates Dallas-Area Police Department Acceptance of Parish Identification Cards
For the first time in North Texas, immigrants without state ID will be allowed to use parish identification cards to identify themselves with Farmers Branch, Carrollton and Dallas Police Department officers. Dallas Area Interfaith leaders negotiated this ground breaking police department policy change in the aftermath of the passage of anti-immigrant State Senate Bill 4, in order to engender greater trust between police and immigrants.Read more
Southern Arizona Interfaith Recognizes Police in SPICE Effort
After passing state legislation that would outlaw health-harming SPICE from neighborhood stores, leaders organized a celebratory mass recognizing the contribution of Tucson Police Department officers who went "over and beyond" in the effort to take the drug off the streets.Read more
Spokane Alliance Secures Support for Mental Health Facility
At present, if a mentally ill person commits a crime in Spokane, the only places to send them are either the ER or jail. After three years of work, Spokane Alliance leaders secured political support for a proposal they developed -- the construction of a mental health stabilization facility to which individuals meeting certain criteria can be referred for short term treatment.Read more
TBR Congratulates Mayor for Use-of-Force Policy Overhaul
Together Baton Rouge leaders are continuing their work on law enforcement practices, including the recent release of a study on neighborhood disparities in drug possession enforcement.Read more
DAI Calls on Police, Community to Build Trust for Better Policing
At a community meeting organized by Dallas Area Interfaith, there were no easy platitudes in reference to the Thursday night shooting of police officers and protesters that left five officers dead. "There is a repentance that has to happen in this nation," preached Pastor Carl Sherman to the crowd gathered at Southern Hill Church of Christ. More than a dozen officers, from six law enforcement agencies across the Metroplex, sat in the pews alongside civilians to hear their public service praised and critiqued.Read more