Feeling powerless to do something about the terrible stuff going on right now?

Hey guys,

With everything that’s going on in the world, I’m feeling pretty overwhelmed, and wishing that there was something that I could do to help right some of the wrongness that I see in the world.

It just so happens that right now, we actually have an opportunity to do something, and I’m really surprised that nobody’s talking about it.

The RCMP’s brand new police union is presently in contract negotiations with the Ministry of Public Safety and the Treasury Board, negotiating its first ever collective bargaining agreement.

We have a unique opportunity right now to tell the Minster that the public wants to see accountability for police violence built into that contract from day 1. We have the opportunity to tell them that we’re watching them, and that we care what this outcome is.

Write or email your MP (https://openparliament.ca/), and also send a copy to https://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/cnt/bt/cntct-frm-en.aspx… and tell them that effective civilian oversight needs to be a strong feature of the new RCMP contract.

Campaign Zero is a good resource for specific provisions that can be written into or kept out of police contracts to help ensure accountability. https://www.joincampaignzero.org/contracts

Politicans don’t initiate change, they see a parade and jump out in front of it. Well there’s a big parade on right now, and we have a great opportunity to give them a push. Tell them that this matters, and that we’re watching them. Let’s help them to help the good cops to be good cops.

Thanks everybody.

Edit: I’m currently writing my letter, and when I’m done I’m going to post it here if you’d like to copy-pasta to start yours.

8 Likes

Police accountability requires.

Independent body with investigation power to investigate into police / public official conduct and police / public official corruption.
And for these to be successful there needs to be judiciary independent from political influence.

This was setup and very sucessful in HK. Which until relatively recently had the best and most respected police force in the world, but now has amoung the most corrupt and hated police.

1 Like

Here’s my draft… Am going to take a swing at polishing it up in the morning, but it’s here for anybody who wants to use it to start on a letter of their own. I welcome any feedback re: clarity etc.

Dear Mr. Beech:

I am a constituent of your riding in Burnaby North-Seymore, and I am writing today to encourage you to support ensuring strong and effective public oversight of the RCMP.

I understand that the newly formed National Police Association is currently in talks with the Ministry of Public Safety and the Treasury Board to ratify the RCMP’s first ever collective bargaining agreement.

In light of the ongoing public discussion about police-involved violence, especially against racialized persons, I strongly believe that it is imperative that the new contract not contain any provisions that would hinder civilian oversight, or shield officers who commit unlawful violence or racially motivated injustice from facing appropriate consequences for their actions.

Any provision in the Collective bargaining agreement or Officer’s Bill of rights that is intended to to protect an officer from malicious allegations of misconduct must not be so broad as to block investigation and disciplinary measures stemming from any actual offence.

The organization Campaign Zero makes a number of reasonable recommendations to this effect, which and I would encourage your office to review and support. There is a comprehensive list at https://www.joincampaignzero.org/contracts Of particular note are recommendations to:

Remove contract provisions and provisions in Law Enforcement Officers’ Bills of Rights laws that:
• prevent investigators from pursuing other cases of misconduct revealed during an investigation
• prohibit civilians from having the power to discipline, subpoena or interrogate police officers
• state that the Police Chief has the sole authority to discipline police officers
• enable officers to appeal a disciplinary decision to a hearing board of other police officers
• enable officers to use the contract grievance process to have an outside arbitrator reverse disciplinary decisions and reinstate officers who have committed misconduct
• prevent an officer from being investigated for an incident that happened 100 or more days prior

Remove contract provisions and provisions in Law Enforcement Officers’ Bills of Rights laws that allow police officers to:
• expunge or destroy records of past misconduct from their disciplinary file
• prevent their disciplinary records from being released to the public via an [Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP)] request

I myself am an active union member of over 10 years, and I believe that collective bargaining agreements play a crucial role in protecting employees from abuses by employer, but they should not be used to protect any employee from the consequences of abuse of their own power.

It is in the interest of public safety that the good cops are not forced to protect bad cops.

Yours sincerely,

5 Likes

The contract limitations police unions appear to put on police conduct investigations is excessive.

2 Likes

This is great Janet! I didn’t even know where to start. Thanks for posting this

Another way to support action locally including police reform is to donate to the
BC Civil Liberties Association.
https://bccla.org/

Pivotlegal is another local group that does work around police accountability.

If you want to make an impact in the USA, the American Civil Liberties Union is another great organization to donate to.

There are lots of other groups out there working on ending police violence and racism. If anyone has other suggestions please post them in this thread. Thanks.

3 Likes

This is a little tangential but still related to ending racism/empowering women of colour and minorities and is a fav org of mine. Also a great place to donate to.

https://adadevelopersacademy.org/