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Today I stood with white women on each side of me, locked arm in arm, as we blocked oncoming traffic, proclaiming “No justice, no peace!” and “What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now!” We wanted to deliver a letter of our demands to the Louisville Metro Police Department, however they closed the offices down in an attempt to thwart our efforts. So we shut the street down with a human barricade of love and racial unity. Linked arm in arm we stopped traffic while we made our demands known via bullhorn. Just for good measure the organizers of the action taped the letter to the door anyway so there would be no confusion as to our demands.
After the racially motivated, terrorist massacre in Charleston, South Carolina, it was refreshing to see black, white, yellow and brown folk standing in solidarity to proclaim black lives DO matter to everyone after all! Our, “Louisville Love” is concerned with social justice and the criminalization of black bodies. We will not stand for our city to pathologize blackness any longer! We do love our city and we demand it to do better when it comes to equal treatment under the law for persons of color. Jim Crow era treatment must end!
After the scandalous letter drawn up by the Louisville Fraternal Order of Police , there had to be a response from the people of Louisville who are of sound mind and body. We have spoken and have a list of demands:
1. A complete overhaul of use of force policies to be more aligned with Amnesty International, The Civil Rights Division of The United States Department of Justice and United Nations Guidelines.
2. When an officer-involved shooting occurs: That officer and all responding officers need to give recorded statement within 24-48 hrs and complete an incident report immediately after involved shooting. Names of officers involved need to be released within 24-48 hrs.
3. Police spend more time engaging the community outside of their cars. Assign special prosecutor for all deadly force cases.
4. After all uses of deadly force, officers responding must be immediately be screened by a 3rd party and alcohol and drug tested and complete a fit for duty physical.
5. Speed up implementation of body cameras in Louisville West End neighborhoods. Dismantle VIPER squad. End over-policing in communities of color.
6. Create a database for all police-involved shootings. Restore and re-seat the Civilian Review Board and provide it with subpoena authority.
7. Fire Mutchler from LMPD by 5pm Friday 7. (6/26). Top 5 ranking officers to publicly denounce threatening letter.
The people of Louisville have spoken, and we will have Justice!
Hey, I’m a big guy and it was 98 degrees in direct sunlight. You’d look like you were in a shvitz too! Carla Wallace and Kathy Parks, two longtime Louisville social justice icons were there as usual to lead and support. I have learned much from watching them both inspire the city toward action. I wore my God is Love shirt from the True Colors Ministry to remind me of Faith being a verb. God is love in action, and that was certainly felt today.