Dear MoveOn member,
This week, footage was released of a man named Terence Crutcher being gunned down by Oklahoma police—once again forcing the crisis of police violence against Black Americans into sharp focus.1
In the video footage, Crutcher, whose car had broken down on the highway, appears to be cooperating with police—in fact, he even has his hands raised above his head—when he is stunned with a taser gun before being shot to death. The officer who killed Crutcher has now been charged with first-degree manslaughter—after days of outrage and an outpouring of attention and grief from across the country.2
At the same time, in North Carolina, the Charlotte community is reeling from the death of Keith Lamont Scott, also at the hands of police, who have not yet released their video of the killing.3
Already this year, at least 194 Black people have been killed by police.4
As America grapples with these deaths, there are real steps we, as a nation, could take to address systemic racism, mass incarceration, and the individuals and institutions that use racial division to propagate economic inequality. A number of innovative solutions were put forward in a recently published paper called "A Vision for Black Lives"—a detailed policy platform released by more than 50 organizations from across the country who are fueling the powerful grassroots movement that's responding to police violence, among other injustices.
This is much longer than a tweet or a quick graphic you can share, but it's an important read. Will you take a moment to read the Movement for Black Lives platform now, and then urge your friends to read it too?
If enough of us take a few minutes to read and share this, we can help fuel the national discussion about concrete solutions.
The Movement for Black Lives platform addresses criminal justice, reparations, investment and divestment, economic justice, community control, and political power. It's an important step toward finding real solutions that can address the many complicated factors that lead to police violence, such as the violence that ended Terence Crutcher's and Keith Lamont Scott's lives this week.
Without a countervailing vision, the systems that work against racial justice and equality only become more entrenched.
It's a long document, and not everyone will agree with every proposal or phrase. But reading it, discussing it, sharing it with our neighbors, and demanding that our candidates react to it could move us forward in a concrete way. And it will take all of us—of every race and with every nuanced and intersecting identity we bring—to work together to develop solutions.
Please, take a moment to read and share the Movement for Black Lives platform now, and let’s get to work.
Thanks for all you do.
—Corinne, Mark, Scott, Anna, and the rest of the team
1. "Video shows unarmed black man Terence Crutcher shot by Tulsa officer," USA Today, September 20, 2016
2. "Tulsa police officer charged with manslaughter," CNN, September 23, 2016
3. "Charlotte Police Chief: Video Doesn't Show "Definitive" Proof Keith Scott Pointed a Gun at Cops," Slate, September 22, 2016
4. " The Counted: People killed by police in the US," The Guardian, accessed September 23, 2016
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