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Fwd: BREAKING: Baltimore news

From: domainremoved <Aram>
Date: Fri, 1 May 2015 15:38:40 -0700

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> Tell the DOJ: The first step towards accountability is transparency
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> Please note: If you forward or distribute, the links will open a page with your information filled in.
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> Hi Aram–
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> Today, Baltimore's state attorney ruled Freddie Gray's death a homicide and charged six officers with the crime. This announcement isn't a victory but it's certainly an important step towards accountability.
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> Freddie, a 25 year old Black man, died after his spine was partially severed while in police custody. After his brutal death a few weeks ago, protesters took to Baltimore's streets to mourn him and vent their frustrations over decades of police impunity for countless acts of violence.
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> President Obama's response: "If our society really wanted to solve the problem, we could; it's just that it would require everybody saying, 'this is important; this is significant.' And, that we don't just pay attention to these communities when a CVS burns, and we don't just pay attention when a young man gets shot or has his spine snapped, but we're paying attention all the time because we consider those kids our kids."
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> This is important. This is significant. These are our kids.
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> What's happening in Baltimore is bringing to the surface systemic injustices that have begged to be seriously addressed for a very, very long time.
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> And until we know the real extent of the problem, the truth about how many young Black and brown people are brutalized by police encounters every day, there will undoubtedly be more and more tragedy – from Baltimore to Ferguson to Staten Island, and across America.The first step to accountability is transparency.
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> Isn’t it way past time we had a national database that documents police encounters with the public they swear to protect and serve?
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> Statistics from a recent ACLU of Maryland briefing paper* speak for themselves: At least 109 people died after encounters with police in Maryland between 2010 and 2014. Less than 2 percent of the officers involved in the 109 deaths were criminally charged.
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> Nearly 70 percent of those who died during the encounters were Black, and more than 40 percent of the people were unarmed.
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> The ACLU of Maryland began its research for the report after hearing from victims' families and learning that the state did not keep track of the number of fatal police shootings, in-custody deaths, or other deadly law enforcement interactions.
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> Over time, the daily injustices, the repeated instances of police brutality, the unconstitutional treatment of poor people and communities of color – these patterns crush people's souls. We need to interrupt this cycle of violence.
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> Data collection and reporting is something we can start doing today. And it will offer us the best, most accurate, picture of what policing in the 21st century looks like – and allow the statistics to better shape systemic change.
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> Urge the Department of Justice to mandate reporting from all police departments and create a national public database, including a breakdown by race, gender, and age.
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> It's 2015 and we don't even know how many homicides by police officers happen around the country every year. Let's change that, and start changing the culture of policing in America.
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> Thanks for taking action,
> Anthony for the ACLU Action team
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> * Click here to read more about the ACLU of Maryland's briefing paper with state statistics on Police encounters in the Baltimore Sun
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> Please note: If you forward or distribute, the links will open a page with your information filled in.
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Received on Fri May 01 2015 - 15:34:53 PDT

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