URGENT CALL TO ACTION: Pull the Durham Police’s Accreditation!
Next Tuesday, March 22, is Durham Police Department’s CALEA (Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies) certification hearing. CALEA is a body that certifies law enforcement agencies, according to a number of standards, including prohibitions on bias-based policing. However, despite having been awarded “Gold Standard Accreditation” in 2013, we know that the DPD continues to engage in practices of bias-based policing. We know that Durham police have a habit and a history of racial profiling, excessive use of force, and over policing of black and brown communities.
A study performed by RTI International, released yesterday, documents continued racial profiling by the Durham Police Department. According to the report, there was “evidence of racial disproportionality in traffic stops by the DPD.” This finding is consistent with the findings of the Durham Human Relations Council review in April 2014. The HRC found, “the existence of racial bias and racial profiling practices in the Durham Police Department.” Furthermore, DPDs use of force policies are unconstitutional, specifically their use of TASERs against people who pose no threat of violence to officers violates the Fourth Amendment (FADE: 4-Year Assessment).
Among other calls for important reforms, including those recently put forth by the FADE Coalition, we believe that at a minimum in order to rebuild community trust it is necessary that the Durham Civilian Police Review Board needs to be restructured and strengthened, and that protective policies for trans* and gender non-conforming members of our community be immediately implemented. DPD should not get a stamp of approval until it becomes evident that they are taking community concerns seriously. No accountability, no accreditation. No transparency, no accreditation.
We know that your voice will make a difference – all public comments go in the department’s permanent file, and in Asheville and New Orleans communities have had their accreditation pulled because of a lack of faith in police departments. The Durham Police Department does not deserve to be celebrated for the perpetration of violence and harm against our community. Losing this accreditation is a call for community accountability, and will send a clear signal that real and lasting change is necessary.
Make phone calls this Monday
» Monday, March 21 » 3-5 pm » Call 919-560-4594
MAKE PHONE CALLS THIS MONDAY, March 21: as part of CALEA’s on-site assessment, members of the community are invited to offer their comments to the Assessment Team by calling 919-560-4594, between 3:00 – 5:00 pm.
Join TSURJ folks and come out on Tuesday
» Tuesday, March 22 » 6:30 pm » City Hall
Members of the community are invited to offer comments at a public information session this upcoming Tuesday at 6:30 at City Hall. We want a strong showing of community concern with the process, and are also looking for those who would like to speak directly to these issues before the Assessment Team.