End Police Violence Against Vulnerable Communities to Build Better Bridges

Target: Sir Lindsay Hoyle, Speaker of UK House of Commons

Goal: Help enact police reforms that can curb incidents of often deadly misconduct.

The fatal officer-involved shooting of a teenager in France has sparked days of violent protests, resulting in thousands of arrests. According to witnesses, the shooting victim—Nahel Merzouk—was in his car and attempting to drive away when an officer shot him. The officer is now facing manslaughter charges, with protesters also charging ethnic profiling (as Merzouk was of Algerian descent). Such accusations of brutality and profiling are unfortunately nothing new for French police forces, and they reflect a global trend (noted by the United Nations itself) that has also impacted nations from the United States to the United Kingdom (UK).

The UK has recently faced calls for reform from the police inspectorate itself. A number of incidents involving officers—including the reported assault of an elderly black man, a police officer who was convicted of murdering a young woman, and a widespread alleged network of sex extortion—compelled the inspectorate’s office to release a series of recommendations to restore public trust in police. But these recommendations, which include substantial reforms to the vetting and recruitment of officers and the removal of police involvement from mental health emergency calls, are completely voluntary.

The inspectorate’s leaders believe mandated compliance can not only improve community relations with the police but also save lives. Demand political leaders take up the calls for legislation that could finally codify needed change and improvement within UK  law enforcement.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Sir Hoyle,

The UK recently issued a travel advisory to France in the wake of prolonged protests surrounding alleged deadly police misconduct. Yet according to your own police inspectorate, the UK could one day be grappling with a similar crisis of confidence. The inspectorate cites “some truly horrendous acts by police officers” and “a failure to act” on its recommendations for changing these tragic outcomes and bettering the police force as a whole.

The inspectorate wants improved vetting, recruitment, response protocols, and more, but not on a “do as you please” basis. These reforms can and should be mandatory and overseen by a trusted authority. As the inspectorate notes: “policing must continue to do more to earn back the trust and confidence of the public, which we know has been eroded over recent years. To do so, we remain focused on preventing crime and disorder, listening to communities’ concerns …and providing consistently high-quality services in responding to emergencies, investigating crime and keeping people safe.”

Please help the UK achieve these goals by introducing and supporting legislation for legally enforceable changes within law enforcement that can restore trust and save lives.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Matt Buck


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