At the request of Just Leadership, SURJ ROC and other NY SURJ chapters have signed on to #FREEny, a campaign to end injustice in our pre-trial system. At a Town Hall Feb. 27, we learned about the needed reforms. (Visit justleadershipusa.org for details on the issues and proposed solutions.)
At the request of the Worker Justice Center, SURJ ROC supports the Greenlight campaign to enable undocumented immigrants to obtain drivers' licenses in New York State. Call Assemblyman Harry Bronson's office, 244-5255, and tell him you support A4050. Ask him to support the campaign and move the bill out of the Transportation Committee.
And find out more about what's happening to immigrants in our area and how you can help at a meeting Tues, June 20, 7 p.m. at the Unitarian Church on S. Winton.
Worker Justice Center of New York and Greater Rochester Coalition for Immigration Justice will sponsor this meeting to discuss important local initiatives for confronting the immigrant crackdown. For info/reservations: firstname.lastname@example.org
At our May general chapter meeting, members voted to endorse Enough is Enough's call for a Police Accountability Board, previously endorsed by SURJ ROC's Steering Committee. Now it's time to ask you to act as well: Please write a letter to City Council President Loretta Scott, and send it to Enough is Enough co-author Barbara Lacker-Ware (address below).
You can write your own letter, or use some suggested wording from the one below. If you live in the city, make sure you mention that and include your address. If not, write anyway; police accountability is a community-wide issue that affects all of us. (Questions? contact us at email@example.com)
Thanks so much for your support!
SURJ Action Committee
PLEASE MAIL ALL SIGNED LETTERS TO:
Barbara Lacker-Ware, 260 Woodside Place, Rochester, NY 14609
If you are unable to mail your letter, please sign and scan it, then email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
SAMPLE LETTER OF SUPPORT
President Loretta Scott
Rochester City Council
30 Church Street
Rochester, NY 14614
Dear President Scott,
We/I have reviewed the research findings and recommended ordinance in “The Case for an Independent Police Accountability System: Transforming the Civilian Review Process in Rochester, New York” written by Barbara Lacker-Ware and Theodore Forsyth. We/I agree with the goals and values of Accountability, Transparency, Transformation, Justice, Dignity and Respect that are set forth in this document.
We/I completely supports the research findings and fully endorses the recommended ordinance in the aforementioned document. Furthermore, we/I encourage City Council to adopt the recommended ordinance and establish it as law in the City of Rochester as soon as possible.
Civilians in Rochester deserve to have a complaint process that truly holds police officers accountable for any misconduct, especially excessive use of force. The current Civilian Review Board does not provide an adequate process for police accountability and the process of the Rochester Police Department to review officer misconduct and assign appropriate discipline is not transparent to the community.
We/I recommend the adoption of the ordinance found in “The Case for An Independent Police Accountability System: Transforming the Civilian Review Process in Rochester, New York.” This ordinance abolishes the current Civilian Review Board and establishes a new Police Accountability Board as a separate department of the City of Rochester. This new Police Accountability Board will:
- Hire an Administrator and Investigator who report to the Board,
- Conduct investigations independently of the Rochester Police Department,
- Have the power to issue subpoenas to compel testimony and evidence,
- Make findings to determine whether civilian complaints against officers are sustained or the officers are exonerated,
- Make recommendations to the Chief of Police regarding the discipline of officers whose charges of misconduct are sustained.
We/I have a vested interest in the safety of all members of the Rochester community and that each person be treated fairly and justly. We/I trust that City Council represents these values for all Rochester residents, and for this reason we/I strongly encourage you to adopt this measure. Thank you for your service to the community and for acting in the best interests of all.