News Release

Police Brutality

New occurrences of misconduct by police officers are in the national news. The following critics of abuses are available for interviews:

RON DANIELS
Daniels is executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights and author of the essay “The Crisis of Police Brutality and Misconduct in America: The Causes and the Cure” in the forthcoming book “Police Brutality: An Anthology”. He said today: “Racial profiling and the militarization of the police are a large measure of the problem. The [New York Mayor Rudolph] Giuliani model of zero-tolerance policing that goes after petty crimes has resulted in tens of thousands of innocent people, mostly African Americans and Latinos, being harassed, sometimes arrested by the police. We have to move to community-based, constitutionally-compliant policing.”

MARY D. POWERS
Coordinator of the National Coalition on Police Accountability, based in Chicago, Powers said today: “We’ve seen a history of police abuse and torture, particularly of black suspects. Interrogations should be videotaped. That would also protect good police officers who are falsely accused…. After community efforts, we have been able to have a few abusive police officers fired from the [Chicago] department. And local college students exposed police and prosecutorial misconduct, so innocent people were released from prison and even death row.”

VAN JONES
Jones is national executive director of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights. The Center’s projects include Bay Area PoliceWatch and New York PoliceWatch. Jones said today: “If you increase police presence, power, budget and mandate, but don’t increase the oversight mechanisms, that’s a recipe for corruption and abuse. That is what we are seeing.” On Thursday, Jones will be in Seattle for a conference on police misconduct, including during the WTO protests.

ROBERTO RODRIGUEZ
Author of “Justice: A Question of Race” and co-author of the syndicated Column of the Americas, Rodriguez (who won a federal civil rights lawsuit against the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department for brutality against him) said today: “In most cases, law enforcement abuses never make it to trial—the police have their code of silence and the prosecutors work hand in glove with the police. We need federal prosecutors who are not part of the local structures. We need a national truth commission. Over 90 percent of people brutalized by law enforcement are people of color. We have to look at these abuses in the context of human rights violations and take them to the Organization of American States and the United Nations.”
More Information

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020 or (202) 332-5055