Silicon Valley DSA denounces the police murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, David McAtee, Sean Monterrosa, and all who have died at the hands of police. The police function as a white supremacist gang that targets all people of color, and Black people specifically. We stand in solidarity with all communities fighting back against police terror.
We are in the middle of historic protests against police violence and massive retaliation that indiscriminately targeted peaceful demonstrators, legal observers, media, and medics. Beginning Friday, May 29, San Jose police deployed hundreds of heavily armored officers, who repeatedly fired rubber bullets and tear gas at a nonviolent crowd. San Jose’s demonstrations were organized largely by young people of color, who put themselves on the line to fight injustice. We are humbled by their commitment and bravery.
To address police violence we must go beyond reforms that tinker around the edges, and defund the police.
Table of contents:
#DefundThePolice in your city!
Updated June 16, 2020.
We’re working city by city to defund the police, starting by turning out to budget hearings.
Our next general #DefundThePolice call is Saturday, June 20:
- Sat, June 20, 3-5pm. #DefundThePolice General call.
Updated June 29, 2020.
Tuesday, June 30, San Jose City Council will be voting on a one-year extension of the Police Officers Association contract. We need to let Council know that we’re fed up with the Police getting the biggest raises in the City year after year! Defunding the Police means negotiating against the POA.
- June 30 City Council. For details on how to give public comment by call or email, see this document.
- Live thread on Twitter: Here
Updated June 22, 2020. Short link: sv-dsa.org/defund-rcpd
The Redwood City Council is meeting now to pass the 2020-21 budget! Call in!
- How to call in for public comment: Visit redwoodcity.zoom.us, select “Join” and enter Meeting ID 997 2123 7655.
- Draft letter
- Live thread on Twitter
- Council Meeting Agenda
Updated June 23, 2020. Short link: sv-dsa.org/defund-mppd
Menlo Park City Council is voting on the 2020-2021 budget tonight. Call in to demand that they DEFUND THE POLICE!
- To give public comment, visit joinwebinar.com and use Meeting ID 933-154-779. As of 5:30pm the meeting has not started, but it should start soon.
- Visit this doc for background on MPPD.
- Live thread on Twitter – Menlo Park!
Updated June 23, 2020.
- Mountain View City Council is voting on the budget & other issues tonight! To discuss next year’s budget is Tuesday, June 23 at 6:30 p.m. Register to call in here.
- Get data on Mountain View’s police budget + info for public comment: here.
- Live thread on Twitter – Mountain View!
Updated June 23, 2020.
- Sunnyvale City Council is meeting tonight to vote on the 2020-21 budget, starting 7:00 p.m. Call in via Zoom or by phone:
- Zoom link here.
- Meeting call-in telephone number: 833-548-0276 | Meeting ID: 961 1158 0540
- Get data on Sunnyvale’s police budget, talking points for public comment, and email templates here.
- Live thread on Twitter – Sunnyvale!
Updated June 9, 2020.
- City Council Meeting to discuss next year’s budget is Tuesday, June 9 at 5 p.m. Join the call here.
- Scripts for making public comment are here.
Cross-City: School Resource Officers
Updated June 24, 2020.
Sequoia Union HS District board is meeting NOW.
Public comment on budget is about to start. This includes funding for School Resources Officers.
SRO Roman Gomez killed Kyle Hart during a mental health crisis in RWC in 2018.
CALL IN for public comment!
Police protect their own
Police “union” and city contracts allow police to purge misconduct records, reinstate fired officers, limit oversight, and block investigations into uses of violence.  Media, jurors, and prosecutors are often biased in favor of police narratives. 
Bias training doesn’t work
Hundreds of studies dating back to the 1930s show that anti-bias training doesn’t alter behavior or change the workplace. 
Police don’t care about reforms
Body cams (even when on) haven’t reduced civilian complaints, uses of force, or significantly altered judicial outcomes.  Eric Garner died because NYPD ignored a ban on choke-holds.
First, repeated analysis has consistently failed to find any connection between the number of police officers and crime rates. Second, the primary strategies adopted by modern police have been shown to have little or no effect on crime. 
Homeless sweeps make the problem worse
Arresting unhoused people and destroying their possessions makes it harder for them to access the services they need for medical care and stable housing. 
Cities are spending millions of dollars on policing. Imagine what else we could spend that on:
Studies show “schooling significantly reduces the probability of incarceration and arrest.” 
-  Police Union Contract Project. Check The Police. (n.d.). Retrieved June 9, 2020, from https:/www.checkthepolice.org/#project.
-  Birck, M. A. (2018). Do You See What I See? Problems with Juror Bias in Viewing Do You See What I See? Problems. In Michigan Journal of Race and Law (Vol. 24). Link.
-  Dobbin, F., & Kalev, A. (2018). Why Doesn’t Diversity Training Work? Anthropology Now, 10(2), 48–55. https://doi.org/10.1080/19428200.2018.1493182
-  Yokum, D., Ravishankar, A., & Coppock, A. (2019). A randomized control trial evaluating the effects of police body-worn cameras. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 116(21), 10329–10332. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1814773116
-  Bayley, David H. Police for the Future.
-  Fernandez, P. (n.d.). Why People Say Defund the Police at Black Lives Matter Protests. Retrieved June 9, 2020, from https://www.cosmopolitan.com/politics/a32757152/defund-police-black-lives-matter/
-  King, R., Mauer, M., & Young, M. (2005). Incarceration and crime: A complex relationship. 1-11. www.sentencingproject.org
-  Dismantling Homeless Camps Aggravates Some Public Health Issues, Researchers Find : Shots – Health News : NPR. (n.d.). Retrieved June 9, 2020, from https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/01/10/794616155/sweeps-of-homeless-camps-in-california-aggravate-key-health-issues
-  Someone I Know is Being Abused. Should I Call the Police? | The Hotline. (n.d.). Retrieved June 9, 2020, from https://www.thehotline.org/2015/06/11/someone-i-know-is-being-abused-should-i-call-the-police/
-  https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/prdv0615.pdf
-  Lochner, L., & Moretti, E. (2004). The effect of education on crime: Evidence from prison inmates, arrests, and self-reports. American Economic Review, 94(1), 155–189. https://doi.org/10.1257/000282804322970751
-  Aidala, A. A., Mcallister, W., Yomogida, M., & Shubert, V. (n.d.). FREQUENT USERS SERVICE ENHANCEMENT “FUSE” INITIATIVE NEW YORK CITY FUSE II EVALUATION REPORT. https://www.csh.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/FUSE-Eval-Report-Final_Linked.pdf
-  Cloud, D., & Davis, C. (2013). Treatment Alternatives to Incarceration for People with Mental Health Needs in the Criminal Justice System: The Cost-Savings Implications. February, 6. Link.
-  Restorative Justice | TransformHarm.org. (n.d.). Retrieved June 9, 2020, from https://transformharm.org/restorative-justice
-  10 Strategies for Cultivating Community Accountability | Transform Harm. (n.d.). Retrieved June 9, 2020, from https://transformharm.org/10-strategies-for-cultivating-community-accountability/