The following e-mail template is open source and was obtained from the Amnesty International Website. Given the current conditions involving police brutality within the United States, the Policy Initiatives Institute calls on you to email the following to your legislators! Click read more! If you support our mission to support the PEACE Act, share the article with your friends and family so that it can be passed.
What is the PeACE ACT?
The Police Exercising Absolute Care with Everyone Act of 2019 (or the PEACE Act), is a bill introduced by Representative Rho Khanna (D-CA-17) and William Clay (D-MO-01) that aims to decrease policy brutality. In fact, it bars the usage of deadly force as a last resort, meaning all other alternatives are unsuitable. Specifically, force can only be used when necessary to prevent imminent death or serious bodily injury, and so by passing the PEACE Act, we can hold the police more accountable.
According to Amnesty International, Nine states and Washington, D.C. have no statutory law on police use of lethal force, whereas in the other 41 states, the standards are far too permissive and vary greatly. The PEACE Act aims to rectify these disparities and ultimately hopes to save lives in the process. If you believe in the goals of the PEACE Act, please take action by emailing your legislators utilizing the following template!
~ Courtesy of Amnesty International
If you are unsure of who your representative is on the national level, scroll to the bottom!
Dear Representative _________,
I write to you deeply concerned with the excessive violence happening at the hands of police. Each year in the US about 1,000 people are killed by police, Among those killed, Black and Latinx people are overrepresented, with black people being killed at more than twice the rate of white people. A person’s right to survive an interaction with law enforcement should not be dependent on the color of their skin or where they live. A more restrictive national standard is needed to limit and standardize law enforcement use of force to prevent families from being devastated by this violence and provide for accountability when police use of force is excessive or unlawful.
In September 2019, Congressman Ro Khanna (CA-17) and William Lacy-Clay (MO-01) introduced The Police Exercising Absolute Care Act with Everyone or PEACE Act of 2019 (HR 4359). The bill would bar federal law enforcement from using deadly force unless necessary-- as a last resort-- to prevent imminent death or serious bodily injury, and reasonable alternatives have been exhausted. This pushes beyond any state with a law addressing police use of force and the current federal standard.
Too often we see footage of officers employing deadly force against unarmed or fleeing people who do not appear to pose an imminent threat to the life of the officer or others. The PEACE Act also requires consideration of the actions of the individual and officer leading up to a use of force encounter, to better address these heart wrenching killings. Under the PEACE Act, states that receive federal funding from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program must enact a state use of force law consistent with the standards outlined in this legislation.
Protecting the public and maintaining officer safety are not at odds with one another. Police departments that have put more restrictive use of force policies in place have seen a decrease of people killed without risking officer safety and only serving to gain in public trust. In 2011, the Seattle Police Department, under a consent decree with the Department of Justice, restricted their department policy on use of force given recommendations emphasizing de-escalation. A 2017 Seattle Police Monitor report found that following implementation, police use of force decreased, as did crime, without an increase in officer injury.
It is past time that the law requires officers to reserve force as a last resort rather than a first response. I urge you to cosponsor HR 4359 and call on House leadership to advance the PEACE Act, which could help save lives.
_________(first name)_________, _____(last name)________.
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