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Use of Force Guidelines

Establish federal use of force guidelines, and a federal mechanism to enforce the standards.

Why does this matter? Around 1,000 people are killed by law enforcement every year. (source) This number can be reduced significantly with proper legal incentives and police training.

  • Black men face 1 in 1,000 odds of being killed by the police over the course of their lives, over 2x as likely vs white or latino citizens, and ~5X asians (source)

  • Black people are about twice as likely as white people to be pulled over by law enforcement for a traffic stop; Even when black men and white men are convicted of the same crime, they can expect a prison sentence that is 20 percent longer (source)

  • 56 percent of black Americans said they had a great deal or fair amount of confidence in police, compared to the 78 percent of white Americans who said the same. And confidence was even lower among young black Americans — 49 (source, graphs)

  • The sight of a police officer makes 60 percent of black Americans feel “less secure.” About one-third — 22 percent — of white Americans said the same, while 32 percent of white Americans said the sight of an officer makes them feel more secure, a sentiment shared by only 5 percent of black Americans (source)

How can we tackle this?

Having clear use of force guidelines will allow for enforcement and accountability of law enforcement officers. We need to move out of subjective standards

  • Reach out to your Senate representatives about the Justice in Policing Act of 2020. This has passed the House in June 2020, but will have a difficult time passing through the Republican-controlled Senate. If you need some help in how to most effectively engage with your elected reps, check out our step-by-step guide

  • Encourage your Republic and Democratic representatives to work together to build a bi-partisan bill, as the parties are currently in a stalemate over each party's police reform bill

  • Support the petition for the Police Accountability Act of 2020 (1M+ signatures so far)

  • Connect with your local and city officials to spark discussion on efforts they are making to standardize use of force policies in your hometown police department

  • Engage on social channels and in The Forum; add ideas, comments, and facts, to help us find lasting solutions




Ideas for how to improve policing in the USA (partially a cut n paste from a Medium article in the comments thread)

Instead of wasting time with minor tweaks, I recommend exploring the following ideas:

  • No more qualified immunity. Police officers should be personally liable for all decisions they make in the line of duty.

  • No more civil asset forfeiture. Did you know that every year, citizens like you lose more cash and property to unaccountable civil asset forfeiture than to all burglaries combined? The police can steal your stuff without charging you with a crime and it makes some police departments very rich.

  • Break the power of police unions. Police unions make it nearly impossible to fire bad cops…


More background on police brutality and unethical tactics.


Here is a good article about how communities of color experience policing in America. Stat rich, data mine.

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