The human rights crisis that is local law enforcement which is accountable only to itself, and thus refuses to police itself ethically and fairly, must end. It is an immediate danger to any community over which it holds the power of life, death, and incarceration. All too often, law enforcement has wielded atrocities, both past and present to keep an unjust and insane order in place.
Ours is a nation built on, among many things, a system of checks and balances—of impartial commissions and councils constructed to make sure oversight and accountability are given real power and proactive clout, not just lip-service. The Kingston community demands nothing more than that impartial oversight and balance, on which a democratic society ideally runs.
We need accountability now.
1. Create Appointment Guidelines & Process that are transparent.
We demand a police commission made up of trained and knowledgeable, and—most importantly—accountable members of our community. Our requirements include:
-The commission must include 3 members from each Legislative District in Kingston
-All members must not be a current or former police officers, or direct family nor current elected officials
-At least one (1) member must speak fluent Spanish, or translation services must available
-Two (2) at-large members who represent the area most impacted by police (using DDACTS data)
-Reappointment of members only through evaluation by Common Council and according to established guidelines
2. Create Training Requirements for Commissioners.
-Education and Training on mental health crises and associated behaviors
-Civil rights, anti-bias and anti-racism
-Policing and police policy, sensitivity and diversity
-Acute traumatic stress, and its associated factors, risks, and outcomes
3. Revitalize & Revolutionize the Complaint Process.
Put in place multi-language reporting lines, forms, and other methods of complaint submission, discussion, and review, including in-person, online, over the phone, and anonymously, as well. It will also establish guidelines, directives, and mandatory training for city employees responsible for taking and handling complaints. The process will incorporate supportive initial interviews and follow-ups, access to and for relevant community groups for complainant support, and the ability to lodge an anonymous complaint.