Eliminate Excessive Force
End all unnecessary use of force by
law enforcement officers against citizens and excessive policing by adopting the policies outlined in the Appendix; requiring police, not cities, to be liable for misconduct and violence settlements; and creating citizen review boards that would allow community members rather than internal affairs to make the ultimate determination of officer fault after allegations of misconduct.
Take the Profit out of Policing
Work collaboratively to pass policies requiring all fines or fees associated with the criminal justice system be made proportional to ability to pay; create limits on the percentage of operating budgets that comes from fines and fees; and commit to ending civil asset forfeiture by law enforcement agencies, an unlawful practice that systematically deprives South Carolinians of their due process rights.
Re-fund the Community
Work together with leaders at the state, county, and city levels to decriminalize poverty, homelessness, and mental health instead of incarcerating individuals facing these crises by reallocating funds from police departments towards social service resources.
Resources not Incarceration
Leaders at the state, county, and city levels must work together to decriminalize poverty, homelessness, and mental health instead of incarcerating individuals facing these crises. Communities should work towards allocating equal or greater resources towards affordable housing, infrastructure (including clean water), programs for feeding low-income residents, and the provision of healthcare, as they allocate to law enforcement. Allocate city funding towards healthcare infrastructure (including non-coercive mental healthcare), wellness resources, neighborhood-based trauma centers, non-coercive drug and alcohol treatment programming, peer support networks, and training for healthcare professionals.
To work towards a community care model, communities should:
1. repurpose empty buildings, houses, apartments, and hotels to house people experiencing homelessness.
2. Make public housing accessible to everyone, repealing discriminatory laws barring people from accessing resources based on income, race, gender, sexuality, immigration status, or history of incarceration.
3. Support and promote the existence of community land trusts for Black and historically displaced communities.
4. Provide non-coercive housing options for young people experiencing abuse or family rejection of their queer or trans identities.Invest in teachers and counselors, universal childcare, and support for all family structures.Install safe and sanitary gender-inclusive public restrooms.
5. Ensure investment in community-based food banks, grocery cooperatives, gardens, and farms.Ensure free, and more extensive, public transport, especially servicing marginalized and lower-income communities.Invest in youth programs that promote learning, safety, and community care.
Pass the BREATHE Act
The police were born out of slave patrols. We cannot reform an institution built upon white supremacy. We need a new, radical approach to public safety and community investment. President Biden has already drawn on the BREATHE Act in his executive actions calling for racial equity screens in federal programs, investing in environmental justice at historic levels, and engaging with system-impacted communities.
The BREATHE Act paints a vision of a world where Black Lives matter through investments in housing, education, health, and environmental justice.