Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Showing America it has a big problem

Terrence Heath reports on the accomplishments of the Black Lives Matter movement.

* The Mapping Police Violence project documented who was killed by the 60 largest American police departments. 41 of the 60 killed blacks at a rate higher than their black population. 14 of these departments killed only blacks. High levels of violent crime did not correlate to likelihood that police would kill.

* The movement is challenging Democratic candidates, telling them clearly do something about this situation or we'll stay home on election day. Don't assume we'll vote for you because the GOP is so unwelcoming to us. Bernie and Hillary are listening and now speaking. The movement knows they will get a chilly reception in the GOP, so isn't wasting time there.

* They are asking candidates to support a specific 10 point plan that includes such things as community oversight of the police, limit the use of police force, use of body cams, demilitarization of police, and end for-profit policing (where the police dept. or the court system fund their budgets through fines).

* They are changing public opinion. A Pew poll in 2010 found 17% of respondents said racism in America was a "big problem." This year that number is 50%. Up through last year an average of five police officers were charged with murder or manslaughter every year. This year it was 15.

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