It’s important that we contact Santa Monica’s City Council and bring their attention to issues around police racial profiling. A sample letter drafted by the Committee for Racial Justice appears further down in this email. If you’ve already sent a letter, thank you. If not, you may use the sample letter below, or you can personalize your own letter — you may use the NBC news links below as a visual example of how the state is
seeing our city.
The following links share news coverage that aired on Thursday on Channel 4 News.We are requesting that you ask our Council the following question: How is it that in the 11 pm news story we hear that the police response so
far is that they’ve found that “the officers acted within policy” and the Council has not questioned that policy.
NBC NEWS LINKS
http://www.nbclosangeles.com/video/#!/on-air/as-seen-on/Father-Claims-Police-Used-Excessive-Force/303146481 Story 1 aired at 6 pm on Friday, May 8, NBC Los Angeles (Angie Crouch reporting)
http://www.nbclosangeles.com/video/#!/on-air/as-seen-on/Man-Claims-Santa-Monica-Police-Made-Rough-Arrest/303161861 Story 2 aired at 11 pm on Friday May 8 on NBC Los Angeles (Robert Kovacik reporting)
Thanks for any help you can give us in getting out the word that pressure needs to be put on SM City Council to put the issues of discriminatory policing and excessive force on their upcoming agenda.
SAMPLE LETTER TO COUNCIL:
Dear Council Member ______________:
As a member of the Committee for Racial Justice, I want to express my concern about the alleged police assault
on an unarmed African American male charging his electric vehicle at Virginia Park. Our Committee has requested that the City Manager remove the SMPD web site press release featuring a mug shot of the man police pepper
sprayed and swept to the ground.
http://santamonicapd.org/Content.aspx?id=52058 The press release vilifies the man arrested and rushed to the hospital, and is inappropriate, given the SMPD public commitment to thoroughly conduct an internal investigation into the officers’ behavior. We ask that you weigh in, as well, and request that the City remove the press release, especially since all charges have been dropped against this man.
Meanwhile, members of our committee look forward to meeting with Interim City Manager Elaine Polachek and Police Chief Seabrooks to discuss our concerns, and appreciate their setting aside time to hear what we have to say.
The alleged police assault did not occur in isolation but in the context of police racial-profiling in the Pico neighborhood, where residents have complained for over a decade about racial discrimination in stop and search practices, as well as arrests and use of force.
To address these concerns regarding long-standing SMPD racial profiling, the Committee for Racial Justice requests that City Council members support and place on the next Council agenda the following:
The City Council instructs the City Manager to hire an outside agency to gather quantifiable and anecdotal data on SMPD racial profiling, to publish the data, and to host a forum between the police and the community or a series of “conversations” at which the results are discussed. These would be co-sponsored by community groups such as the NAACP, the Committee For Racial Justice, and other groups working on this issue.
The City Council instructs the Interim City Manager to oversee the recruitment of volunteer members of underserved communities in Santa Monica to serve on police recruitment interview panels.
The City Council instructs the City Manager to work with the SMPD Chief, as well as representatives of underserved communities, to review the training curriculum that addresses diversity & racial profiling, and to review the repercussions for violations of those guidelines.
To learn more about what other cities are doing to address this issue, please visit: http://www.portlandoregon.gov/police/article/230887
We look forward to hearing back from you on whether you are interested in sponsoring and supporting our agenda proposal.
Thank you for your time and consideration.