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Legislative Accountability to Eliminate Wrongful Use of Deadly Force by Law Enforcement

WHEREAS, somelaw enforcement agencies devote insufficient time and resources to de-escalation training, which contributes to a police culture that is more volatile than tactful, leading to increased instances of the wrongful use of deadly or injurious force; and

WHEREAS, law enforcement's use of deadly or injurious force should always be the last resort given that the primary role of law enforcement authorities is to serve and protect the community; and

WHEREAS, the lack of legal accountability towards law enforcement officers who wrongfully kill or injure unarmed and non-threatening persons is creating an unhealthy mutual fear that is damaging the relationship between police and communities; and

WHEREAS, laws in many states afford law enforcement officers unduly broad discretion in determining what is reasonable presumption of fear, which has led to many exonerations for police officers in wrongful shooting cases, while families of victims are left helpless and without justice.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) will advocate for mandatory de-escalation policies, training and enforced compliance for all law enforcement agencies with the requirement that such de-escalation training take place on at least a quarterly basis; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP through its branches will aggressively advocate for and pursue the arrest, indictment and conviction of any and all police officers involved in the killing of unarmed African Americans in each branch's perspective catchment area; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP will continue to advocate for legislation requiring law enforcement personnel to use the minimum amount of force necessary to control or subdue a non-compliant suspect, and, in that vein, reaffirms its support for the Law Enforcement Trust and Integrity Act, which is currently pending in Congress; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NAACP will advocate and call on the U.S Attorney General, the Office of Justice Program Administrator, and the nation's governors and legislators to eliminate ambiguous language in the law that allows law enforcement to use deadly force under the broadly interpreted "reasonable presumption of fear" and support nationwide, definitive language in the law that raises the level of the use of deadly force to incidents of absolute threats.

Derrick Lewis - Youth & College Hero

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