Statement on Police Accountability and Racial Justice

Statement on Police Accountability and Racial Justice

The murder of George Floyd has shocked the nation and renewed calls for police accountability and racial justice, especially in our criminal system.  I have long been fighting for criminal justice reform and racial justice and am gratified to see the country realize the need for these reforms. To that end, we must:

  1. Complete passage of the Police Accountability Bill through the Colorado Legislature.
  2. Return to Community Policing.
  3. Ensure outside oversight of Police Agencies Use of Force Practices and District Attorney Charging and Sentencing Practices.
  4. Reform and Regularly Review the Use of Force Continuum.
  5. Expand the Office of the Independent Monitor to State-Wide Jurisdiction.
  6. Re-institute the Citizen Accountability Board.
  7. Advocate for the end of Police receiving military surplus gear.

These changes will bring about a greater culture of police accountability but do not address the underlying problems of massive racial and economic disparities in our society.  At the end of the day, our police are merely a reflection of who we are as a society.  We need to address the following larger issues as well:

  1. Lack of school funding in predominately minority areas.
  2. Disparate government funding of programs based on location, race, and economic factors.
  3. The legacy effects of redlining and racist tax policies.
  4. An end to the harmful effects of the “War on Drugs.”
  5. Re-evaluation of policies leading to mass incarceration.
  6. An individual examination of bias in each of us.

Together, we can begin to redress the many harms in our society, but we must start by looking inside each of us.  We must each acknowledge our complicity in this problem, whether intentional or not, and work to learn each day.