Defund the Police

Defund the Police!

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:

San Jose

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

Redwood City

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!

Menlo Park

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!

Palo Alto

Updated July 9, 2020.

The Palo Alto Human Relations Commission (HRC) is discussing #8cantwait starting July 9 at 5pm!

Mountain View

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!

Sunnyvale

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!

Fremont

Updated July 29, 2020.

  • Community meeting to get input on policing is July 23rd from 3-5. Call in here. 
    • Live Twitter thread summarizing the July 23rd meeting linked here.
  • The next set of community input meetings are August 3rd and 4th each from 6-8 PM. Space is limited, so sign up now. Sign up link here.
  • The city has released a community survey, which along with the town halls will determine staff’s recommendation to city council for the police budget next year. Fill out the survey here.
  • Talking points for all the community meetings are linked here.
  • On July 29th the Fremont Unified School District School Board votes on the future of SROs
    • Live tweet thread 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!

Zine

We made a short zine about defunding the police! You can print it at home and fold it into a cute little booklet. Download the PDF: English version; Spanish version..

Print it, fold it per these instructions, and give it to everyone you know! Our zine is also on Instagram; and the online version of the zine is immediately below this sentence. 🙂

Why not reform?

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. [1] Media, jurors, and prosecutors are often biased in favor of police narratives. [2]

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. [3]

Police don’t care about reforms

Body cams (even when on) haven’t reduced civilian complaints, uses of force, or significantly altered judicial outcomes. [4] Eric Garner died because NYPD ignored a ban on choke-holds.

policing DOESN'T WORK!

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. [5]

Only 5% of arrests are for the most serious offenses, including murder, rape, and aggravated assault. [6] Three quarters of crime reduction is attributable to factors other than incarceration. [7]

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. [8]

Domestic Violence aid groups caution against calling the police

Many victims face increased violence from their partner following police encounters. [9] Victims are rarely given the help they need. [10]

DEFUND the police... start funding communities!

Cities are spending millions of dollars on policing. Imagine what else we could spend that on:

Education

Studies show “schooling significantly reduces the probability of incarceration and arrest.” [11]

Supportive housing

An effective way to help unhoused neighbors [12] [13]

Community accountability and restorative justice

Community-based alternatives to policing and incarceration or other punishment-based systems. [14] [15]

Citations