Friday, February 3, 2023

Feel Good Friday - Campaign Zero

Another week when a frustratingly familiar story, this time of a Black man being killed by police, leads me to find an organization working to address policing in the United States. Today’s focus is on Campaign Zero.

Founded in 2015 in response to incidents of civilians being killed by police, Campaign Zero is a national, research-based platform focused on ending police violence in the United States. As they explain on their website, “We can live in a world beyond policing. We can live in a world where the police don’t kill people by limiting police interventions, improving community interactions, and ensuring accountability.”

Their research and advocacy projects are focused in five areas: 

  1. Public safety beyond policing
  2. Shrink the reliance and power of the police
  3. End mass incarceration
  4. Fundamental fairness, accountability, and transparency
  5. Direct support & advocacy

Examples of related campaigns include addressing corruption and mismanagement at the Rikers Island jail, working to achieve accountability in cases of injustice like that of Samuel Celestin who was killed by police, and canceling the use of ShotSpotter technology in cities around the country.

The website includes extensive research into the campaigns and issues. In the case of ShotSpotter, a study published in the Journal of Urban Health found it does not reduce violent crime. The city of Oakland, California, where I live, has a 5 million dollar contract with ShotSpotter, and yet 6,053 alerts in the year 2020 led to only 69 weapons being found. You can get more information on all the issues on the research page of the website. 

The work of Campaign Zero is having an impact. One state has repealed its law enforcement officers “bill of rights”, six states have restricted the use of no-knock raids and over 340 cities have restricted use of force policies. 

If you want to help Campaign Zero end police violence in America there are many ways to get involved. Volunteer your time, donate your money, and amplify their message on social medial. Follow Campaign Zero on Facebook, on Twitter @CampaignZero and on Instagram @campaignzero.

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