Green Party of Ohio statement on police-involved killings

Cleveland, OH: The Green Party of Ohio abhors the recent killings by members of law enforcement that occurred in Baton Rouge, LA and St Paul. MN.

The deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile stand as but the latest stark reminder that, in the black community, there is a justifiable fear of law enforcement, as those charged with protecting and serving the public are all too often prone to use lethal force at the slightest provocation, or sometimes, with no provocation at all. Data shows that minority members of our society suffer disproportionately under our legal and penal system.

We also stand against anyone who uses violent retaliation against law enforcement and decry the assassinations of 5 police officers, and the wounding of several others, that occurred in Dallas TX.

In Ohio we are all too familiar with the headlines, having seen the deaths of John Crawford, Tamir Rice, Tanisha Anderson, and Samuel Dubose. The litany of names lost, dating back years, is a symptom of our cultural degeneration. When it is commonplace for law enforcement to kill minority citizens after minor encounters, when a man feels justified in committing a brutal act of domestic terror against members of law enforcement, the need for a national effort is patently obvious. This effort should be lead directly from the Oval Office, in concert with both the US House and Senate leadership teams. Our elected leaders, of both major parties, have failed to take any meaningful steps towards ending the racial polarization in our country, and the recent deaths nationwide are the result

Our platform calls for independent civilian review of all complaints of police misconduct for all state, local and county police agencies, we oppose the trend of privatization of prisons, jails and juvenile detention facilities which leads to private companies having a financial interest in increasing the prison population, we oppose the use of the death penalty as it is ineffective and racially biased.

We also suggest that demilitarization of police forces become a priority and urge additional training for members of police agencies in matters of Constitutional rights, non-violent conflict resolution and de-escalation techniques, as well as cultural sensitivity and diversity training. Additionally, training in how to interact with citizens who have mental health concerns should be more prevalent. We also believe that drug testing for law enforcement agencies should be employed to determine if steroidal abuse is as commonplace as some believe.

These are but initial steps that can be taken to rectify an increasingly dangerous environment, for ordinary citizens and police officers alike.

Lastly we reject any and all calls that attempt to label the Black Lives Matter movement as complicit in the events in Dallas. A peaceful, and legal, protest was marred by the actions of a single man. Those who were protesting were victims as well, victims of a justice system that treats minorities with a far more merciless hand that it treats members of the white majority.

There is no excuse for the deaths that have occurred, no justification that could possibly be employed. We stand with Black Lives Matter in their efforts to end police violence and we also recognize that the deaths of the law enforcement officers in Dallas were barbaric and harmful to the cause of racial harmony which we aspire to.