Anyone who cares about peace and ending wars and violence abroad should also care about state violence being perpetrated within our own communities here at home. Ending state violence at home includes holding the police accountable, as well as expressing to ICE and Border Patrol that they are not wanted in our community- in accordance with Syracuse’s resolution for Sanctuary status.
The mayor of Syracuse is currently engaging in a national search for a new police chief of the city. We ask that the new police chief be happy to carry out the tradition of not volunteering info or help to ICE, as well as have experience in and a dedication to continuing to tackle work in these three areas: 1. The use of force policy (and racial profiling) 2. Accountability to the public through the Citizen Review Board 3. Trainings for police officers
The ongoing militarization of police and immigration enforcement is unacceptable. Protecting our communities and supervising peaceful protests should not involve military style weapons, but should entail appropriate de-escalation techniques, cultural competency, conflict mediation, mental health awareness and implicit/racial bias awareness and trainings. Additionally, the US is continually fueling wars and poverty abroad, and has contributed largely toward the greatest migration crisis in history. We must end this state violence abroad, but also realize that immigrants fleeing their home countries and coming to the US have a right to be here and should not be deported and torn apart from their families.
Police forces around our nation have been struggling to implement or completely overlooking requests from the community for too long. We must recognize that we live in a white supremacist society, and this creates a toxic cycle, of which not just the police force embody. White supremacy in our schools creates the school to prison pipeline where children begin a path into adulthood of being criminalized and arrested. For people living in poverty who do not have the money to pay for attorneys, they enter the US prison system which exponentially increases concentrated poverty. Because of the lack of jobs available to people with a record after they leave prison, and also lack of education because of this school to prison pipeline, community members are excluded from jobs, and all that is left available is to continue negative interactions with the police and prison industrial/immigrant detention complex. That is the outcome we’ve created in this community. Let’s change it.
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© Copyright 2018 Annie Windholz