Wednesday, April 25 , 2018, 10:54 pm | Fair 54º

 
 
 
 

Community Rising: A Conversation on Police Use of Force

Santa Barbara community members are invited to participate in Community Rising: A Conversation on Police Use of Force, 6-8 p.m. Thursday, June 1, at La Casa De La Raza, 601 E. Montecito St., Santa Barbara.

In collaboration with Families ACT!, speakers from Black Lives Matter, Santa Barbara, and Showing Up For Racial Justice will review the Santa Barbara Police Department’s use-of-force policy and facilitate a discussion around community-centered reform.

In an effort to provide a comfortable environment for all participants, the organizers request that no law-enforcement attend this event.
 
Equity for Santa Barbara believes the SBPD’s use-of-force policy lacks important guidelines that could save lives, such as:

» It does not require officers to try to de-escalate heated situations before using force.

» It does not require officers to provide prompt first aid to community members after using force against them.

» It does not require officers to intervene or report when another officer tries to use excessive force.

In each of these cases, the SBPD’s use-of-force policy conflicts with key recommendations from community organizers and experts researching police use of force around the U.S., Equity for Santa Barbara reports.

Groups as varied as Campaign Zero, the Police Executive Research Forum, and President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing all recommend updating use-of-force policies like the SBPD’s to benefit both communities and law enforcement.

Communities must play an active role in developing police policies.

President Obama’s Task Force writes: “The public confers legitimacy only on those whom they believe are acting in procedurally just ways.

"Law enforcement cannot build community trust if it is seen as an occupying force coming in from outside to impose control on the community.”

Community members can join the discussion and share what kind of relationship they want the SBPD to have with individuals and their neighborhoods.

Event sponsors will provide free onsite childcare, English-Spanish interpretation, and refreshments. La Casa De La Raza is wheelchair accessible.

— Athena Tan for Equity for Santa Barbara.

 
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