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Ferguson Protesters Unveil Campaign Zero, Can It Help End Police Brutality?

In August, protesters from the #BlackLivesMatter movement released Campaign Zero, a set of ten demands for police reform in America. Spearheaded by three activists from Ferguson — Brittany Packnett, Deray McKesson and Johnetta “Netta” Elzie — the group hopes their proposal will influence the presidential election. They’re also keeping track of how closely each candidate’s platform matches Campaign Zero.

Here’s a simple graphic explaining each demand, though the Campaign Zero website offers more detail on each:

A Campaign Zero graphic illustrating each of the ten demands: End Broken Windows Policing, Community Oversight, Limit Use of Force, Independently Investigate & Prosecute, Community Representation, Body Cams / Film the Police, Improved Training, End For-Profit Policing, Demilitarization, and Fair Police Union Contracts. (Campaign Zero)

A Campaign Zero graphic illustrating each of the ten demands: End Broken Windows Policing, Community Oversight, Limit Use of Force, Independently Investigate & Prosecute, Community Representation, Body Cams / Film the Police, Improved Training, End For-Profit Policing, Demilitarization, and Fair Police Union Contracts. (Campaign Zero)

Last night on Facebook and Twitter, I asked our readers whether they thought Campaign Zero had the potential to reform policing and end police brutality in America. Many of you, like Brian Beckmann, supported the platform:

There is nothing unreasonable about their goals or methods … unless one happens to be a racist.

@RoughAcres noted that Campaign Zero depends on supportive elective officials at all levels of government:

Dan Lynch said the campaign is good in theory, but argued that it doesn’t go nearly far enough:

I support all of those things but they’re vague, lame, and don’t get to the root of the problem.

I.e. community representation, “select its members from candidates offered by community organizations.” Well, the KKK is an organization in some communities, do they get to nominate people to the police commission? How about the Tea Party? Oath Keepers? Point being there is no meaningful democracy in the US, not at any level, and most of the proposed Police Oversight Commissioners would end up being pro-police. That is one of the root problems.

If we could only change one thing, it should be to decriminalize all recreational drugs, not just pot. Yet that is missing from this lame proposal.

@DhammicMarxist pointed out that we’ve already tried many of these ideas, without much success:

@ChuckBaggett went even further in dismissing the plan:

And @OwenRBroadhurst argued we must end policing as we know it, entirely:

Finally, @politiquestions offered up a detailed alternative to Campaign Zero:

Since it came up in conversation, Shadowproof does not endorse Campaign Zero — we’re just providing a forum for discussion of this proposal.

On that note, let’s continue the discussion in the comments below — what do you think of Campaign Zero? Is it a solid plan, or must we do more to fix our culture of racist violence and end police brutality?

Police guard the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, UK on August 16, 2012. Police are on guard outside this embassy 24-hours a day to ensure that Julian Assange does not receive even a moment of freedom or fresh air. (Flickr / κύριαsity)
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Kit OConnell

Kit OConnell

Kit O’Connell is a gonzo journalist and radical troublemaker from Austin, Texas. He is the Associate Editor and Community Manager of Shadowproof. Kit's investigative journalism has appeared in Truthout, MintPress News and Occupy.com.