"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly."
~ Martin Luther King
Letter from Birmingham Jail
"Chelsey Morales said police confined her to an apartment.
Thurston Gross said police threatened to arrest him for trespassing as he tried to get to his own home.
What happened at Ida J. Yarbrough Homes Thursday during a police training exercise was unacceptable, said residents and community advocates at a lively meeting of the Arbor Hill Neighborhood Association on Monday night at the Arbor Hill/West Hill Library."
Read more: http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Anger-over-unannounced-drill-4382297.php#ixzz2QBu99zBY
PHOTOS FROM THE INCIDENT:
Following the incident, residents and myself pushed to receive documentation detailing specific parts of the drill brought into question. Many questions I am preparing FOIL requests for currently. Here are two pertinent ones.
1) Who specifically was responsible to inform residents at what time and by what method?
2) Can we have the assurance that Police / SWAT / US Marshals will not be conducting training in or in close proximity to residential areas in the future?
It has since come to our attention that Anton Konev (City Council 11th Ward) has submitted FOIL requests for documents regarding Police Policy regarding strip searches and also Standard Operating Procedures for department vehicles and vehicle cameras.
What he received were these heavily redacted documents. Even city council members don't have oversight of police policy. That has to change. Policy should be out in the open.
Police Vehicle & Camera Procedure:
Anton Konev will be submitting questions and requesting documentation regarding the police training during the council meeting as well as bringing up his policy questions. There is a time for public comment.
We the people demand:
No training in (or in close proximity to) Residential Areas
SWAT not be used to execute Non-Violent Warrants:
Some form of transparency: (Maryland has a law)
In 2009, Maryland passed a SWAT transparency law. It requires every police agency in the state with a SWAT team to provide data twice per year on the number of times the SWAT team is deployed, the reason for the deployment, whether any shots were fired, and whether the raid resulted in criminal charges.
We want civilian oversight over what they are purchasing. Maybe a vote. The vision is up to us. (Before they start buying drones like in California http://ars.to/VRZZOV) (Or tanks like in Keene, NH http://huff.to/zAl2EO)
We have a chance to get in ahead of the trend here before things escalate further. Maybe we could even set the example for the country for how to empower the police to honor their constitutional oath and free them from external or internal pressures to militarize.
We want to establish:
The police have been very civil in responding, and very friendly in their response and have stated that they want to make things right. We are hoping that we can use open and civil dialogue to bring some crystal clear changes to policy to protect all of our civil rights.