George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmad Arbery are only the most recent victims of police violence against people of color. No one should ever have to fear for their lives when pulled over by police, let alone jogging, birdwatching, or simply staying at home.
It is overdue for all of us, in every community, to re-examine what it means for law enforcement to “serve and protect.” For far too long we have disproportionately policed, jailed, and harshly sentenced people of color. We need to stop funding the over-militarization of our police force and to start investing in community-based solutions to crime prevention such as education, job training, and youth literacy programs. We must align police budgets so they reflect the needs of the communities they serve, and if elected I would support legislation that does so.
If elected I will also support legislation to require the Law Enforcement Standards Board to develop a model use of force policy for law enforcement agencies and that includes principles stating that the primary duty of all law enforcement is to preserve the life of all individuals.
I am participating in protests in and around my district to show my support and to listen and learn. As someone who is belatedly learning the vast shortcomings of my own education on the history of racism in this country, I commit to educate myself and to advocate for any measures that ensure that all people, regardless of race or ethnicity, are treated with equal respect and dignity.