Campaign Zero: A 'Blueprint for Ending Police Violence'

On Friday, activists with the country’s growing racial justice movement unveiled a new campaign to end police violence, bridging protester demands with data and policy to create structural solutions to the crisis that has gripped national attention for more than a year.

Launched as an online manifesto with an interactive website, Campaign Zero proposes new federal, state, and local laws that would address police violence and reform the criminal justice system—including demilitarizing law enforcement, increasing community oversight, limiting use-of-force, and requiring independent investigation and prosecution of police violence cases.

“More than one thousand people are killed by police every year in America,” the group states on its website. “Nearly sixty percent of victims did not have a gun or were involved in activities that should not require police intervention such as harmless ‘quality of life’ behaviors or mental health crises.”

The action plan also incorporates recommendations by the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing as well as those of research organizations like the Center for Popular Democracy. The architects behind Campaign Zero characterized it as a project that will continue to develop over time as new solutions emerge and more supporters come on board.

The four creators of the new campaign and authors of the manifesto—Samuel Sinyangwe, Brittany Packnett, Johnetta Elzie, and DeRay McKesson—are co-founders of We The Protesters, which as the Guardian notes is “a prominent section of a wider protest movement that is frequently referred to, in general terms, as Black Lives Matter.”

“This is just the beginning,” they wrote in a statement accompanying the launch.

In the year that has passed since 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot to death by an officer in Ferguson, Missouri, police have killed at least 1,083 Americans—an average of nearly three people per day, according to figures compiled by VICE News. Even that figure, released August 9, quickly became outdated.

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