To our black friends: we see you. we are holding you in our heart so big now and always. We love you, I love you. we are so sorry for all this hurt and heart ache and callousness. We will fight to dismantle white supremacy forever and in all that we do. We love you. For our white friends, please read and listen and think:
An excerpt from our weekly postcard writing group:
We have a different sort of ask this week. We’re asking you to read, listen & think. And challenge and wrestle and read and listen some more.
Watch. Read. Listen. Learn. Let it chill you.
Do not respond instinctively, but do not turn away.
It’s not about you, but you must be here to experience it.
You’re not the martyr, nor an innocent, nor the hero, nor the teacher.
You’re a witness. It’s not about you, but you must be present.
Do not respond like you always have. Not yet. Absorb it. Let it change you.
- Follow “Tompkins County Showing Up for Racial Justice” on Facebook and read. If you’re not on facebook, here are the latest articles posted:
Of Course There Are Protests. The State Is Failing Black People.
5 Racist Anti-racism Responses “Good” White Women Give to Viral Posts
9 Reasons Why Acting in Solidarity for Racial Justice is Preferable to ‘Allyship’
- Read the article Here Are Eight Policies That Can Prevent Police Killings and become familiar with the Campaign Zero website.
The eight policies are:
- Require officers to de-escalate situations before resorting to force
- Limit the kinds of force that can be used to respond to specific forms of resistance
- Restrict chokeholds
- Require officers to give verbal warning before using force
- Prohibit officers from shooting at moving vehicles
- Require officers to exhaust all alternatives to deadly force
- Require officers to stop colleagues from exercising excessive force
- Require comprehensive reporting on use of force
Campaign Zero’s policy solutions to Limit Use of Force can be found here:
A model Use Of Force Policy can be found on the website.
- Ask our local, county and state police departments to implement the above eight policies to limit use of force.
Or print and enclose the Use of Force policy from the website. Ask the departments to become leaders.
“A large proportion of police killings could be prevented through common sense policy changes that have yet to be adopted by the nation’s foremost police and city leaders,” the authors noted. “More restrictive use of force policies — and the accountability structures to enforce them — can produce dramatic reductions in the number of people killed by police.”
Better regulation of use of force is better for police, too, as the report also shows that the numbers of officers assaulted or killed in the line of duty decreased in proportion with the number of regulations adopted by their department. ~The Intercept
Joe Nelson, Chief of Police
5 Elm St
Trumansburg, NY 14886 This is our local Chief of Police, find out the address of yours if you are not in Tburg and contact them
Dennis R. Nayor, Chief of Police
P.O. Box 6557
Ithaca, NY 14851
This is Ithaca Chief of Police, find out the address of the chief of Police of your nearest city if you are not in the Ithaca Region and contact them
Derek R. Osborne, Sheriff
Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office
Public Safety Building
779 Warren Road
Ithaca, NY 14850 This is our county’s sheriff, find out the sheriff of your county and contact
Keith M. Corlett
New York State Police Superintendent
1220 Washington Ave, Bldg #22, State Campus
Albany, NY 12226 Find out who your state police superintendent is and contact them
Rordan Hart This is the mayor of our village. Find your mayor’s address and contact them
Svante Myrick This is the mayor of our nearest city. Find out your nearest city mayor’s address and contact them
108 E Green Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo Contact your governor
Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224
- Read the following from Color of Change and write to Minneapolis Mayor Frey & County Attorney Freeman.
It happened again. His name was George Floyd, and on May 25th he was murdered by Minneapolis police officers.
George Floyd was a Black man, who was murdered in broad daylight after a grocery clerk called the police thinking he was writing a bad check. For seven minutes, George laid on the street while officers Derek Chauvin and Tou Thao held their knee on his neck as he was struggling to breathe. He lost consciousness and yet they continued to strangle him. Numerous bystanders pleaded with the police officer to let him go, while Floyd said the words “I can’t breathe,” several times, but the officer refused to remove his knee from Floyd’s neck.
After the murder, officers called his death a “medical problem.” And it wasn’t until the video was released clearly showing them choking him, did we finally see the truth. This was a blatant and disgusting coverup to prevent accountability for their brutal act of police violence.
This is incomprehensible. His life was taken in a senseless act of violence at the hands of the Minneapolis Police Department, all for being “suspected” of writing a bad check.
Police continue to hunt down Black folks in cities across America and we refuse to sit silent. It was not too long ago we heard Eric Garner utter the same last words, “I can’t breathe.” And just months ago, officers stormed Breonna Taylor’s home and murdered her in a botched investigation.
On May 26th, officers Derek Chauvin and Tou Thao, and two other officers who were present, were fired from the Minneapolis Police Department. This is a step in the right direction to hold the officers accountable for murdering George Floyd but more action must be taken. 5/28 Update: Officer Derek Chauvin has been arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. There are still three other officers, Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng, who must also be charged for participating in George’s murder. And currently, dozens of protestors have been detained and arrested for peacefully protesting. Call for County Attorney Michael Freeman to press murder charges against all three other officers and release the protestors immediately.
Address: Hennepin County Attorney Freeman, C-2000 Government Center, 300 South Sixth Street, Minneapolis, MN 55487
Sign the petition:
- And the following from Black Visions Minneapolis:
This week, the Minneapolis Police Department murdered George Floyd, blocks away from several of our members’ homes. In response, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey condemned the murder, saying that “Being Black in America should not be a death sentence.” This is the same Mayor Frey who fought tooth and nail last year to win an $8.2 million raise for MPD.
City leaders felt the heat of community organizing, and so they fired the cops who killed George Floyd. But it’s not enough. We have spent hundreds of hours in the street and at City Hall, telling Frey and the Council that it’s time to move our money out of a murderous police department and into the resources that really keep our people safe. They have not had the courage to do it.
Now, due to COVID19, Minneapolis is facing a budget shortfall and has to make decisions about how to cut about $60 million from the city budget. They will be making these decisions in the next month. In a pandemic, we need every penny of our city’s money to go to keeping people safe, healthy, and housed. We need mental health resources, solutions to the opioid epidemic, affordable housing, and public health approaches to violence prevention. Instead, $193 million of our city dollars are going to murderous police and the guns, tear gas and rubber bullets that they use on our people.
It’s time for Frey and the City Council to stop making statements on social media and start holding MPD accountable in the only language they speak: money. Call Mayor Frey and tell him: “Cut MPD’s budget. We need money to keep our communities healthy during the pandemic, not murder them in the streets”.
Email or write Mayor Jacob Frey again.
“My name is___ I’m writing from ____ and I want the Mayor to cut MPD’s budget. Minneapolis needs money to keep its communities healthy during the pandemic, not to watch Black men be murdered in the streets. Thanks.”
- Keep going. Click here. “This document is intended to serve as a resource to white people and parents to deepen our anti-racism work. If you haven’t engaged in anti-racism work in the past, start now.”
And remember to just listen, listen to your black and brown friends, just listen and hold them and hold space for them. And then do the work that is required of us.
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