One thing our Congress should do IMMEDIATELY to ELIMINATE OVERNIGHT the great majority of police brutality and murder is to pass a federal law decriminalizing all non-violent misdemeanor laws/statutes.
The great majority of all police brutality/murder cases occur during attempted misdemeanor arrests. If we eliminate non-violent misdemeanor arrests, we categorically eliminate the great majority of police brutality/murder cases. Did you know the nationwide average for felony arrest per officer is approx. one felony arrest per year? The great majority of officer arrests in their career are indeed misdemeanor arrests. Felony arrests per officer are far less frequent than most people realize: eliminate all non-violent misdemeanors from arrest and you just eliminated the great majority of all police brutality/murder cases.
The Scale of Misdemeanor Justice
“The first notable fact the data reveal is no surprise: the volume of misdemeanor cases is very high. By the NCSC’s accounting, misdemeanor cases represent approximately three-quarters of the criminal justice cases processed in the United States.”
If one fails to appear in court on a misdemeanor case, your driver’s license is suspended or you’re unable to renew until you go to court and clear up your misdemeanor case.
This federal law would eliminate the possibility of police brutality and murder during non-violent misdemeanor arrests.
It is essential one realize there are over 18,000 police departments in America and you are not going to “fix” these police departments one at a time.
It is essential one recognize that institutionalized racism, bad department/municipal policies and practices permeate virtually every single one of the 18,000 police departments in America.
Take the problem of police unions protecting accused cops from justice, the problem of institutionalized racism, the problem of police investigating police, and multiply these problems by 18,000 police depts. and one can see the difficulty.
THE POLICE PROBLEM is solved by federalizing our nations’ 18,000 police departments under one federal police force operating under federal guidelines, hiring & disciplinary practices including Dept. of Justice oversight of citizen complaints against officers.
THE SOLUTION is to pass a federal amendment creating a national police force while simultaneously disbanding all 18,000 police departments.
This new “Federal Police Force” would handle 911 emergency calls involving violence or credible threat of violence. You could bring a police chief from each major city to testify to Congress the FACT that well below 50% of all 911 calls require armed personnel response. The great majority of 911 calls need UNARMED COMMUNITY RESPONSE – not an armed “Federal Police Force” response.
The benefits of operating a “Federal Police Force” are immense:
*approx. one-third the size of all 18,000 police depts. in the aggregate;
*frees up half a municipal budget for each city due to the elimination of a municipality’s police budget; currently and traditionally, over half of a city’s budget goes to the local police department;
*brand new hiring and training practices, including robust, innovative psychological profiling of police candidates;
*U.S. Justice Dept. replacing “cops investigating cops” investigating and prosecuting use of force complaints.
*Local prosecution of police officers under local/state laws are a waste of time, money and energy; instead, police officers should be indicted, prosecuted, convicted and sentenced under U.S.C. TITLE 18, SEC. 242 in a federal courtroom.
The concept of a new “Federal Police Force” features federal law enforcement of our civil and constitutional rights. Imagine an America where a citizen can actually summon federal police to enforce your constitutional rights in a given situation – something not possible and unheard of today!
Perhaps you’re not familiar with one of the most, if not the most important federal law on the books: U.S.C. TITLE 18, SEC. 242 Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law.
The law is straightforward: Basically any person acting under color of law who violates a person’s civil/constitutional rights is guilty of violating this law and it carries a minimum penalty of one year in federal prison and up to life in prison, depending upon the severity of the violation.
Police officers, elected or unelected officials, nursing home administrators, anyone whose employment position requires one to follow a set of local, county, state or federal laws, rules, regulations or guidelines is a PERSON ACTING UNDER COLOR OF LAW.
Every person acting under color of law OWES A STATUTORY AND CONSTITUTIONAL DUTY to uphold the constitutional rights of any person they encounter in the course of their employment.
When a person acting under color of law violates a person’s constitutional rights, they violate U.S.C. TITLE 18, SEC. 242 and are subject to be prosecuted and sent to federal prison under said federal law.
This is what is missing in America, in Washington, in Americans’ daily lives.