WHEREAS, police use of excessive force has been a problem experienced by American communities for nearly one hundred years and has been a subject of concern at NAACP meetings since 1909; and
WHEREAS, the divide between communities of color and public servants charged with protecting law abiding citizens of all communities is growing at an alarming rate and continues to expand as disturbing allegations of gross police misconduct and selective enforcement by police of laws in a manner adversely affecting people of color nationwide; and
WHEREAS, the NAACP asserts that now is the time for public officials and other citizens of every community across the country to re-evaluate policing practices and the relationship between law enforcement agencies and their respective communities of color; and
WHEREAS, police use of excessive force is not simply a police-community relations problem but also is a serious crime that involves violence and corruption and that causes needless injury and death undermining public confidence in all police, can be prevented; and
WHEREAS, Colorado is among those states which is specifically identified as a high crime area where: (1) police use excessive force, and (2) police officers fail to report police use of excessive force; and
WHEREAS, each year NAACP branches across the country receive many complaints about police use of excessive force and our response to these complaints should be proactive and preventive, just as it is with other serious crime problems plaguing our community; and
WHEREAS, a proactive and preventive response should include encouraging police departments to improve their management techniques not only in the areas of recruitment, training, promotion and supervision, but also in the specific area of preventing the crime of police use of excessive force; and
WHEREAS, police departments are legally required to take steps to prevent police use of excessive force; and
WHEREAS, there are programs which can help police departments develop and implement management techniques identifying associated variables and "at risk" police officers.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP re-affirm its 1991 and 1996 policy on police brutality calling upon all of its Units to work with other community organizations to establish community advisory committees to review the measures and strategies which police departments take to combat police brutality, to include:
- reviewing existing police eligibility standards;
- proposing revision of such eligibility standards, where warranted;
- identifying the variables or factors associated with police officers using excessive force;
- identifying those police officers "at risk" for using excessive force; and
- encouraging appropriate law enforcement and other governmental officials to take appropriate proactive and corrective measures to effectively manage the associated variables and "at risk" police officers.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP call upon all units to work with police unions and other police associations to identify and eliminate union contract barriers which prohibit equal opportunity in hiring and promotion within the ranks; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP encourage all states to enact legislation specifically to identify police use of excessive force as a crime; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NAACP encourage all police departments to develop and implement appropriate management techniques specifically designed to prevent police use of excessive force.