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Pasadena Activists Release Community Bill of Rights

Published on Tuesday, June 16, 2020 | 2:32 pm

The National Day Laborer Organizing Network and the Pasadena NAACP released a community Bill of Rights on Tuesday.

The groups are calling for sweeping and profound changes in law enforcement, which it states has been plagued with systemic racism for centuries.

According to the document the city must defend equal justice, acknowledge its unjust past, face the unjust present and reform unjust policing.

The group is demanding the city adopt civilian oversight, divert 20 percent of the police budget — more than $16 million — to social services and reduce the number of police officer through attrition.

The document also calls for reform in the department’s use of force policies, an end to police surveillance and racial profiling, more psychological evaluations, an expansion of local hiring at the department, anti-bias training and an end to conflicts of interest and the militarization of the department.

“Those changes will bring an end to the culture of violence and impunity in policing in America,” the groups said.

The document calls for a city where community safety does not mean police violence.

The manifesto does not delve into issues outside the department impacting local minorities including housing, local hiring and economic prosperity.

The groups are calling for Mayor Terry Tornek and the City Council to embrace, to adopt, and to champion the Community Bill of Rights.

“This is very timely,” Tornek said. “I think these are the kinds of specific suggestions and recommendations from community based groups that will be of value to us. We’re going to be engaged in very significant discussions very quickly about policing issues and budgetary issues. The Public Safety, Committee’s going to have another special meeting on June 24th, and we’re going to begin to create an outline for police oversight, the budget. We’ve already committed to having real time discussions about how we allocate resources in Pasadena. So these kinds of suggestions from community based groups are very useful and will help to move that dialogue along as we go through this.”

So far 50 people have sent letters according to the NDLON website.

“The Community Bill of Rights constitutes a call to action and courage and a first step towards addressing such inequities,” the document reads. “We know that it will not fix the root causes of poverty and marginalization but being safe from police abuse is a basic tenet for a new Pasadena.”

According to the document, it hopes to “establish a new paradigm about how police interacts and relates to all residents while making sure that justice is served to Blacks and Latinos to whom it has been denied for too long. It is a vision where more shared prosperity, inclusion, public health and education, is our collective aim – and that with time, our neighborhoods will require less policing.”

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