George Floyd Police Reform Commission
Our society has witnessed yet again how this nation’s long legacy of racism continues to damage and destroy the lives of Black and Brown people. The heartless killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis occurred soon after the unjust shootings of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia and Breonna Taylor in Louisville. It coincided with the appalling harassment of Christian Cooper in New York’s Central Park, an incident that demonstrated how easily a racist complaint could put a Black man in danger. The COVID-19 pandemic itself has killed Black and Brown Americans at higher rates than other groups, magnifying disparities in healthcare and economic well-being.
The conversations have intensified in the following months as additional incidents of police violence and misconduct continue to expose the systemic and widespread failures of our policing and criminal justice systems. Community members, often led by tenacious young leaders, planned direct actions, walkouts, and acts of civil disobedience to demand accountability and recognition that Black Lives matter. From New York to Seattle, outraged elected officials walked out of city council meetings and state buildings with their hands up to express solidarity with, and commitment to, the movement for police and criminal justice reform. Communities across the country that have lived for too long under the weight of discriminatory policing and mass incarceration are calling for a transformation of our policing and criminal justice systems. They are making it clear that it is time for policies to primarily reflect the concerns and solutions of communities most affected by flawed policing practices.
Communities are demanding meaningful oversight of law enforcement, accountability, an end to the criminalization of communities of color, and state investments beyond federally sponsored tanks and additional police. While media attention waxes and wanes, the groundswell of anger and grief unearthed by the public killings of sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, and transgender sisters and brothers has started to translate into meaningful policy reform at the local, state and national level. Organizers, community leaders, advocates, elected officials, and law enforcement are thinking through how to address the endemic problem of police brutality and mass criminalization.
On July 1, 2020, Mayor Adrian O. Mapp announced that the City of Plainfield launched a George Floyd Police Reform Commission (GFPRC). The commission's goal was to review current policies and procedures of the Plainfield Police Department and make recommendations in a report to be submitted to the Mayor, Governor, the Union County Prosecutors Office, and the State Attorney General's Office. The commission comprises a diverse group of Plainfield residents whose report and recommendations will be presented at the culmination of private deliberations of the Commission, and two public sessions
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