Dear Raleigh Allies,
The Raleigh Police Accountability Community Taskforce has been working closely with members of the City Council, staff, and police department since March of 2016. To date, it has been almost two years since our coalition of community leaders and civil rights organizations first submitted our recommendations to build accountability, transparency, and equity in Raleigh policing.
Raleigh PACT believes that the first step toward accountability is a community oversight board where police directly answer to the people they serve. This board would supplement, rather than replace the department’s system of internal review. To achieve this goal, we will first need to garner the support of the Wake County delegation to the General Assembly and then the Local Acts Committee. Our local legislative delegation has made it clear that to move forward, they are looking to our City Council to demonstrate their commitment to this project for equity. This will give our legislative delegation the political support from our municipality which they need in order to move ahead.
To this end, we have presented the City Council with this proposal: a resolution affirming their support for a community oversight board with subpoena, investigative, and disciplinary power. The Council can declare their support by making this item a legislative priority on the City’s 2019 legislative agenda and submitting a copy of the resolution to our County’s delegation.
Your support will help show our elected officials that our community is united in our commitment to equity, accountability, and transparency in Raleigh policing.
PROPOSED RESOLUTION IN HONOR OF AKIEL DENKINS
A RESOLUTION INDICATING THE SUPPORT OF THE CITY COUNCIL FOR INCREASED POLICE ACCOUNTABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY THROUGH THE CREATION OF A POLICE COMMUNITY OVERSIGHT BOARD WITH INVESTIGATORY, SUBPOENA, AND DISCIPLINARY POWER.
WHEREAS, the City of Raleigh recognizes that transparency, equity, and accountability in policing is needed to ensure positive relationships between community and police; and
WHEREAS, the City is committed to building a welcoming and neighborly atmosphere in our community, where all people, including black, brown, and poor, are welcomed, accepted and integrated; and
WHEREAS, the City is committed to fostering a welcoming environment for all individuals, regardless of race, ethnicity/place of origin, and religion to return to the community and be able to find gainful employment, and represent their community without harassment or judgement because of past mistakes and unjust patterns of biased policing; and
WHEREAS, black drivers are still 270 percent more likely to be stopped and searched than white drivers but are 10 percent less likely to have contraband in Raleigh; and
WHEREAS, the City’s policies and priorities should promote full access to our City’s services, including families who have suffered a great loss to use of force, loss of dignity, to infringement of civil rights, and dehumanization to the system of mass incarceration of people of color; and
WHEREAS, the City recognizes the need for an external review system to supplement the Raleigh Police Department’s Internal Affairs division, encourage public trust, and hold police accountable by assessing whether they have violated their oath to protect and serve; and
WHEREAS, a community oversight board would demonstrate our commitment to transparency and community governance in holding police accountable in order to achieve public trust; and
WHEREAS, we hope to promote self-governance in all communities by encouraging everyone to take ownership of their safety, upholding the law in their neighborhoods, and eliminate police presence across the city.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RALEIGH:
SECTION 1. Advocate for local authority to convene a community oversight board with subpoena, investigatory, and disciplinary power will be added to the City of Raleigh’s legislative priorities for the 2019 legislative session.
SECTION 2. A copy of this resolution will be submitted to the offices of the Wake County General Assembly delegation.
SECTION 3. Designate the Human Relations Commission of the City of Raleigh to investigate and recommend to this City Council policies and practices to ensure equity, accountability, and transparency in Raleigh policing for all.