Human Rights Watch urged Attorney General Holder to take the following steps at the federal level:
Push for improvements in the federal collection of data on the use of excessive force by federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement. Federal law (42 USC 14142) requires the US attorney general to collect data on the use of excessive force by law enforcement officers but does not require state, local, and tribal law enforcement to submit any information to the US government on excessive force incidents. The Justice Department has not collected – or has not been able to collect – that data in any useful way. Holder should work with Congress to give incentives to state and local authorities to provide data on excessive force incidents.
Press Congress to pass the End Racial Profiling Act. The End Racial Profiling Act, which had been co-sponsored by President Barack Obama when he was a US senator, is pending before the US Congress. It would condition federal funding in part on certification by local law enforcement agencies that their members had been trained to eliminate practices that result in or encourage racial profiling. Training to eliminate racial profiling may help local law enforcement officials recognize bias and how it can affect their policing decisions and interactions with community members.
Issue updated, stronger racial profiling guidance at the federal level. The New York Timesreported in April that the Justice Department was on the verge of issuing an updated, stronger version of its Guidance Regarding the Use of Race by Federal Law Enforcement Agencies, first issued by the George W. Bush administration in 2003. The updated version has yet to be released.
“The unrest in Ferguson points to broader problems of policing in the US,” Morales said. “Ferguson is calling for changes. Attorney General Holder should offer them real reform.”
The family of an 8-year-old Native American girl who was tazed by police in October is suing while the Pierre Police Department say it was justified.
The Chief of Police justifies the use of a tazer on an 8 year old girl by saying they could have used their guns or batons, essentially. What restraint.
So very relevant to Ferguson, because I imagine the broader pattern of how police respond to people of color affected the outcome of this situation much like it did with Mike Brown. Today, the police “just” used a tazer and caused some traumatization. But … are there situations of police shooting and killing Native Americans in the U.S. (or First Nations people in Canada) that don’t hit the media because Native Americans are even more invisible than black people in the U.S.?
This…this commentary does not honor this little girl. And it does NOT address the nature of Native oppression in the US. Which is different from antiblack oppression.
Comparing an instance of violence against a nonblack person to an instance of violence against a Black person is…unhelpful. And it is a feature of antiblack oppression. Using Black bodies as yardsticks to judge all other forms of oppression is hurtful and harmful.
Native people are not more invisible than Black people because that comparison doesn’t even mean anything.
Hypervisibility is actually a key aspect of Black suffering. We are commodities. Our death is spectacle. It is never respected.
Anti-native oppression operates under different rules.
It would probably be more respectful to EVERYONE if people focused on the specific contexts of individual victims of state violence instead of comparing them to make sweeping ‘more/less’ statements about racialized groups.