#BlackLivesMatter is homing in on ten specific proposals. Read the entire article here for a helpful update on the movement and a lot of really profound research.
1. End broken windows policing. This refers to a style of policing that goes after minor crimes and activities, based on the notion that letting minor crimes go unaddressed can foster and lead to even worse crimes in a community. In practice, this tactic has disproportionately impacted minority Americans — in New York City, the vast majority of stops in 2012 were of black or Hispanic people.
2. Community oversight. When a police officer engages in misconduct, the most likely organization to investigate the situation is the police department the officer comes from — creating an obvious conflict of interest.
3. Limit use of force. Police officers are currently allowed to use deadly force when they merely perceive — albeit reasonably, according to courts — a deadly threat, even if a threat isn’t actually present.
4. Independently investigate and prosecute. Following a police shooting, investigations are typically headed by the police department and the local prosecutor’s office, which has close ties to the police department — both of which create conflicts of interest.
5. Community representation. In some communities, the racial demographics of the police force are wildly different from the community they represent. Ferguson, for example, is about two-thirds black, but only three of 53 commissioned police officers were black at the time of the Brown shooting.
6. Body cameras and filming the police. Most police departments still don’t fully equip officers with body cameras, and many don’t have dashboard cameras for their cars.
7. Training. Many police departments only require training on an annual or one-time basis, and the training tends to focus on use of force, not on deescalation or racial bias.
8. End for-profit policing. In some jurisdictions, police are used by local governments as a revenue generator. One of the most damning findings from the Justice Department report on Ferguson is that the police department and courts issued fines and fees to help fill local budget gaps.
9. Demilitarization. The Ferguson protests captured nationwide attention after police deployed militarized equipment — sniper rifles, riot gear, camouflage, armored trucks, and chemical agents such as tear gas — against largely peaceful demonstrators.
10. Fair police contracts. Police unions have negotiated strong contracts for their officers over the past few decades, sometimes imposing big hurdles to investigations — such as the 48-hour rule, which prevents investigators from talking to an officer involved in a shooting until 48 hours pass.