The negative connotation around reformed slogans in light of the murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd have taken center stage with many arguing the unintentional negative responses. Campaign Zero is centered towards a motive that has no room for a negative connotation, but instead solid plans to answers that hard-headed conservatives may try to argue against.
The slogan “defund the police” has been argued to bring a negative connotation to a goal that is universal in those who simply want to see change. #CampaignZero is a way to gain an educational and informative outlook on the efforts to change police reform to a way that better suits not only communities but as well as the laws that are meant to protect these same communities.
The replacement of “defund the police” with a fully backed campaign like campaign zero gives a definitive solution to the arguments made against defunding the police and gives a constructive plan to do just that, defund the police. The intentions of creating a goal, a plan, and a set stone of what it means to get police reform.
Campaign Zero has been in the works for the past 15 years, fighting, working, and gaining the support it needs of those it represents, individuals that are tired of the system pushing them out because of the negative connotation that conservatives have brought to the table.
It is easy to get on Twitter and fight with a random stranger on what it means to defund the police, and they can simply argue with you because the slogan has a lack of a plan to get the reform that is wanted by hundreds of people across the country. Campaign Zero makes it easy to create a plan to get to the goals that have been set.
As said on their official website, “Campaign Zero encourages policymakers to focus on solutions with the strongest evidence of effectiveness at reducing police violence. Our platform is continuously updated in response to the findings and insights of researchers and organizers nationwide. Given the range of new research studies on implicit bias training, mental health training, community representation in policing, and body cameras finding little to no evidence of effectiveness at reducing police violence, we have flagged these policy areas with disclaimer.”
The campaign focuses its energy with a list of ten steps to maintain a goal that is spelled out in such detail, that the goals are painted as ridiculous to not attain.
The following are the ten steps that are a simplified version of what campaign zero etched into their mission to help police get their shit together. To see the exact ten-step program, please visit their official listing of The Solutions to their campaign.
1. End Broken Window Policing
The official website creates a simple to follow guide checklist on the stereotypical police stops that are made day-to-day and how these same stops could be changed, fixed, worked on, and avoided. Examples they used revolved around a list of activities police have the potential to decriminalize due to the lack of threat to public safety such as loitering and jaywalking, followed by suggested stereotyped agendas like the assumption of immigration status. In addition to these spelled out lists, there is a reform plan that helps situations like those mentioned before like assisting the mental health crisis that cities all across the country face at alarming rates in order to avoid unnecessary outcomes of the criminalized acts mentioned before.
2. Community Oversight
The campaign goes as far as creating a plan for the lack of accountability that is faced by police officers due to their favoritism by colleagues when it comes to the charges they face once a crime that is great enough to face disciplinary action has been committed. The addition to civilian oversight in the times of a committed crime gives not only a voice to the community the police is set to serve and protect, but as well as hold accountable the complaints placed against these same officers that are sworn to the office to protect and practice the law.
3. Limit Use Of Force
This one is self-explanatory on its own. The practice of excessive force used by a police officer has killed hundreds of people yearly, many of which, much like the case of Breonna Taylor, face little to no corporal punishments that those same communities these officers serve do not see as suitable punishments for the crimes that they have committed. The limits of the use of force are described by the campaign using solutions such as “establish standards and reporting of police use of deadly force.”
4. Independent Investigations and Prosecutions
The prosecution of a police officer many times is left to the local level, the campaign calls for a change in the process of which the judicial status of a case is approved to be held at higher regard to avoid a local police officer from being investigated by one of their own local legal departments (common sense was missing when governments allowed local police departments to investigate themselves if you ask me).
5. Community Representation
The website related this to a statistical level that is difficult to argue, and easy to explain: “While white men represent less than one-third of the U.S. population, they comprise about two-thirds of U.S. police officers.” If the community is brown, so should those that represent it be. By increasing the community representation and allowing regular feedback to be taken by those who are considered first responders, the campaign sets a goal for those branches of civil society to represent what the people they serve want.
6. Body Cams/Film The Police
Evidence speaks louder than words. And in some cases, those words recorded on body cams worn by police officers spoke louder than their actions to do the right thing when it came to their response to high-intensity situations. The providing of body cams to police officers has been shown to paint an accurate depiction of situations involving police brutality. Therefore, all should be required to wear one. Accountability is key.
On average, lawyers study for three years to become a lawyer, then do additional training to practice law. On average, doctors study for 11 years to gain a doctorate degree, then go on to residency programs. Whereas, a police officer, who has the right to strip one of their natural-born rights, goes through a training program that lasts on average six months. Campaign zero spells out the investments that would come from a longer and more in-depth training period for police officers. As they should.
8. End For-Profit Policing
Being a police officer is not the equivalent of being a sales representative. There is no need for police officers to meet a “sales goal” at the end of their shifts. In this case, a ticketing quota. Get rid of the need for officers to meet that quota as well as capping on fine related penalties for low-income individuals among other monetary actions.
The campaign’s website uses examples of Ferguson as the need to remove the need for military weaponry. Most recently, one can point to the dispatch of the national guard in cities all across the country following the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement in response to the killings of Breyonna Taylor and George Floyd. The use of military power is coming from a federal budget that is meant to protect the country from national threats, not its own citizens.
10. Fair Police Contracts
It is to no surprise that police officers are held to a different standard than that of the average citizen, which makes it hard for the law to hold these officers accountable for their actions, campaign zero calls for the change in these forces to keep a fair playing ground so that in case of a corrupt act, police are held accountable.
Head over to the official Campaign Zero Website, as well as the Official Campaign Zero Instagram page to learn more about the mission goal, and support as well as donate to help these changes come to life.
Editor’s note: Featured image of law enforcement personnel in militarized gear preparing to keep the peace in Los Angeles in the wake of nationwide protests after the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis, Minnesota policeman. Photo credit: Melinda Meijer for News4usonline