Communities across the country that have lived for too long under the weight of discriminatory policing and mass incarceration are calling for a transformation of our policing and criminal justice systems. They are making it clear that it is time for policies to first and foremost reflect the concerns and solutions of communities most affected by flawed policing practices. Communities are demanding meaningful oversight of law enforcement, accountability, an end to the criminalization of communities of color, and an investments well beyond federally-sponsored tanks and additional police.
While media attention waxes and wanes, the groundswell of anger and grief unearthed by the public killings of sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, and transgender sisters and brothers has started to translate into meaningful policy reform at the local, state and national level. From Los Angeles to Cleveland, organizers, community leaders, advocates, elected officials, and law enforcement are sitting down to think through how to address the endemic problem of police brutality and mass criminalization.
To support the efforts of community organizations and elected officials, the Center for Popular Democracy (CPD) and PolicyLink have created Building Momentum from the Ground Up: A Toolkit for Promoting Justice in Policing. TheToolkit is a direct response to organizers, elected officials, and community members from across the country seeking support and resources for campaigns aimed at transforming the policies and practices of local law enforcement. The Toolkitreflects the aspirations of many and is the product of conversations with base building organizations and local elected officials.