[RECAP] The Coalition for Police Accountability and Transparency Propose Policy Solutions to Address Police Violence, Reduce Police Presence

The policies range from a ban on consent searches to divesting from police budgets and investing in alternative non-law enforcement emergency responses. 

Click here for a recording of the press conference.

SAN DIEGO – On July 6, 2020, the Coalition for Police Accountability and Transparency (CPAT) held a virtual press conference to call on local leaders to adopt an array of policies that aim to address police violence and to reduce the role and presence of police in communities. 

CPAT is a group of community organizations that coalesced around addressing local policing issues after the 2016 SDSU report on SDPD traffic stops that found that Black  and Latinos are more likely to be searched by SDPD but less likely to be found with contraband than white people. 

Today they put forth a policy package called Police Accountability Now that aims to address the well-documented issues within SDPD, the Sheriff Department and other local police departments.

The policy package includes a law called PrOTECT that would reduce contact between police and overpoliced communities by requiring a higher legal standard for all stops and searches. Another policy echoes the calls for divesting from the police and investing government funds in community-based services and non-law enforcement interventions. 

Christopher R. Wilson, associate director of Alliance San Diego said, “Communities of color, specifically Black folks, have suffered for far too long the deadly consequences of government-sanctioned violence associated with over-policing, excessive use of force, and lack of oversight in law enforcement. Preserving life should be the goal in any engagement between the police and  our community members; that means oversight and accountability should be a priority to all residents. We urge lawmakers to adopt the best-practice policies proposed in this package. It’s time for them to take the first step to earning the trust of communities that have been victimized for generations.”

“How can we begin to move towards a more humane and righteous society when our local leaders refuse to see how the historical injustices that have brutalized, traumatized and discriminated against Black people since this county’s inception still thrive today?” said Bishop Cornelius Bowser of Shaphat Outreach. “Anti-Blackness is in our country’s DNA and is embedded in our policing. Data shows that biased policing is an issue in San Diego and that our region’s anti-Black bias is reflected in how Black people are treated by the police. We need local leaders to hold our police departments accountable for biased policing that continues to harm Black families and that feeds our mass incarceration system. We need for elected leaders to adopt this policy package now.”

“In the wake of continued police killings of Black and Latino people, policies that ban police officers from using chokeholds are not enough. We need justice and accountability. We need to divest from policing and reinvest these funds in communities and non-law enforcement interventions. Now is the time for bold action. Now is the time for our elected officials to enact meaningful solutions by adopting the Police Accountability Now policy package,” said Christie Hill, deputy advocacy director at the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties.

As police departments and local governments determine how to respond to biased policing in this pivotal moment, the coalition is pointing to the Police Accountability Now policy package as the starting point for politicians to act.