I recently received this message, and an accompanying petition, in an email from the ACLU:
“On August 9th, local police fatally shot an unarmed African-American 18-year-old named Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. In the days that followed, there have been massive protests in Ferguson and heavily armed SWAT teams are roaming the streets in response. Our communities are not war zones.”
“And yet the police, armed to the teeth, treat us like the enemy, especially if we’re black, young, poor or homeless. Tanks are rolling through our towns. What will it take for police to start protecting communities of color, not waging war on them?”
“The Departments of Defense, Homeland Security and Justice are funneling billions of dollars to state and local law enforcement agencies every year to help them purchase military weaponry and equipment. What business do DOD, DHS, and DOJ have funding a war here at home?”
Change requires citizen participation, but so many people feel helpless and don’t know where to begin. Here’s a place to start- sign this petition to the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security and Justice demanding that they stop funneling billions into the militarization of state and local police forces.