BLM proposal to Allentown City Council includes Citizen Review Board

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From the Black Lives Matter Lehigh Valley Facebook page: Below is a resolution that will be brought before Allentown City Council on Wednesday that addresses many of the specific demands we made at Monday’s protest.

Resolved by the Council of the City of Allentown, That

WHEREAS, Allentown City Council is committed to a dialogue that includes examining police operations, legislative and community oversight, requiring certain reporting requirements and establishing a policy on force; and

WHEREAS, Allentown City Council supports along with the Human Relations Commission the Eight Can’t Wait recommendations from the Obama administration related to the use of police force; and

WHEREAS, City Council will meet on Wednesday, July 29, 2020 at 6:00 PM to begin to take public comment and work on recommendations for policing in Allentown; and

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the City Council of Allentown will foster a dialogue inclusive of but not limited to reviewing, discussing and adopting some of the following:

Making Body cam usage mandatory – if not used then face discipline including termination;

Require that Allentown Police Department (APD) inform council of any changes to the Civil Rights, discipline and use of force policies and that if any of those changes effect adherence to 8 Can’t Wait, and if there are any changes council must vote on the change;

Explicitly adopt of policy that no knock warrants are banned;

Remove any exceptions for chokehold and neck restraints from the use of force policy;

Explicitly state that stop and frisk is banned;

Explicitly state that officers have a duty to intervene in any excessive use of force and that there are discipline consequences including termination for not doing so;

Establish by legislation a Citizens Review Board that reviews among other things for cases of excessive force and when a weapon is discharged;

Require Bi-annual reports of use of force, discipline, positive interactions, policy changes and types of calls/responses that are disaggregated by race and gender to be given and discussed at Council’s Public Safety at a public meeting.

Provide that misuse of force situations are immediately given to the attorney general (3rd party);

Officers who are suspected of violating the use of force policy and are under investigation are immediately placed on suspension while the investigation is conducted, this should be automatic, so the public has peace of mind and officers have accountability;

A quarterly reporting requirement that contains a breakdown of the nature of calls in Allentown, i.e. reason for call: mental health, domestic disturbance, violent crime, traffic accident, and an annual report. The report should be made public immediately following their release;

Make body camera footage available to the public and easily accessible with no delays in its release;

Begin to draft a plan of divestment of resources currently allocated to the police department to other areas or sectors of the city such as mental health, housing, drug & alcohol treatment,social services, etc;

Mandatory community meetings following use of force incidents to contend with the psychological ramifications and fear that emerges from the use of lethal use of force and force community concerns to be fielded and responded to.

Be It Also Resolved that City Council Effectuate such recommendations through legislative action as possible through amending your code or asking legislators to change.

Be it Finally Resolved that these recommendations be considered and reviewed no later than three months after passage of this resolution.

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