Quality Policing Initiative
A Survey of Ferguson Stakeholders and A Vision of Community Policing
The Ferguson Collaborative (formerly the DOJ Working Group) undertook our survey of Ferguson residents and stakeholders from a desire to raise up the voice of those directly affected by policing. It is from those voices, we believe, that the most effective solutions will be found.
We observe the 50th anniversary of the VRA’s passage this week, the commemoration is dampened by the fact that this hard-won legislation has been gutted by the Supreme Court. And with the one-year anniversary of the death of Michael Brown on Sunday, the nation has failed to address the inequities that still haunt black people in America. As we approach both remembrances this week, we must reflect, take stock, and recommit to the difficult work ahead.
On July 31st the Anti Defamation League (ADL) honored the Saint Louis Metropolitan Police department for their participation in ADL’s Law Enforcement and Society (LEAS) training. The ADL’s anti bias training program, a program that uses the holocaust “to teach how police enforcement supported the escalation of violence in Nazi Germany” is insufficient for addressing the prevalence of anti-Black racism in police agencies across the U.S.
On the last aldermanic session of 2014-2015, the Board of Aldermen voted 17-8-2 to pass BB 208 Civilian Oversight Board Bill. This city ordinance establishes a 7 member board composed of civilians that will have the authority to oversee internal affairs investigations of civilian complaints. The board would also be able to do its own investigations if it believes the Internal Affairs Division falls short, and it can make recommend changes to the police department's policies.
Fifteen young activists successfully complete OBS's first round of the Next Revolution Fellowship Program, and gain invaluable skills for movement building.
Activists Petition Circuit Court to Investigate and Remove Prosecuting Attorney in Darren Wilson Grand Jury
ST. LOUIS, MO — Following damning revelations from the grand jury investigation of former Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson in the killing of unarmed teenager Mike Brown, a group of St. Louisans are asking a judge to appoint a special prosecutor that could oust Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch from office. Activists contend that McCulloch acted in bad faith during the proceedings and never intended to prosecute Darren Wilson.
Members of the Missouri Legislative Black Caucus met with activists from the Organization for Black Struggle on Friday, January 9 at Greater St. Marks Family Church in Ferguson. They discussed legislative strategy for the upcoming session and ways to incorporate the organization’s Quality Policing Initiative into legislation at the state, county and local levels.
The Organization for Black Struggle (OBS)Responds to Unwarranted and Aggressive Police Action At Peaceful Protest in St. Louis
St. Louis City Police Invaded Local Neighborhood Using Violent, Militarized Tactics on Community Members Without Warning or Just Cause
On Wednesday afternoon, following a day of non-violent protest commemorating the death of Kajieme Powell in St. Louis City, community members gathered at the site of a police shooting at the intersection of Walton Ave. and Page Ave., were met by dozens of St. Louis City police in riot gear, who then escalated the situation with multiple threats of chemical agents, the presence of armoured vehicles and a handful of arrests. After several hours of peaceful protest, police began terrorizing the surrounding community with no warning by unleashing multiple types of chemical agents, firing rubber bullets, aiming weapons at bystanders and even cutting off cars attempting to escape the scene.
In the wake of Mike Brown’s murder, we have seen a number of young collectives and individuals emerge: Millennial Activists, Lost/Found Voices, Black Souljahs, Freedom Fighters, etc. And though these groups have been open to hearing and at times working with established organizations, they have also expressed an interest in maintaining their autonomy.
Montague Simmons of St. Louis' Organization for Black Struggle on pushing for justice as Missouri's government continues to fail Black residents. -via Ebony.com
The Department of Justice will soon release a report which will lift the veil of the Ferguson Police Department’s legacy of racially biased policing. To truly change the way Ferguson police and officials interact with communities of color, we must raise the standards of ethics, accountability and transparency for those who wear police badges. No one is above the law, not even a recalcitrant and racially-biased police department who not only terrorized African Americans, but blatantly balanced its budget on the backs of a vulnerable community who had little recourse to protect themselves
The killings of Mike Brown, Kajieme Powell, Vonderrit Myers and others are not the result of abnormal incidents resulting in accidents, nor do these killings reflect “one bad apple” police officer. It is a manifestation of a system of policing that is unaccountable, out of control and acts from its worst impulses of racism and aggression.
In the 100-plus days since Mike Brown was gunned down by Darren Wilson, we have seen incredible incompetence and intractable racist behavior by the white power structure in the St. Louis metropolitan region. Every week since August 9 there have been acts of defiance and missed opportunities to show real leadership because of institutional racism.