The Alexandria City Council will consider a resolution tonight (Tuesday) establishing a community police review board and condemning systemic racism.
Councilman Mo Seifeldein, who drafted the resolution, says he has support from his colleagues and that he envisions the board to have independent authority to review and investigate police misconduct and empower the community and law enforcement members to come forward with concerns without fear of retaliation.
“I am encouraged that we have broad support for this resolution,” Seifeldein told ALXnow. “We demand more from those in position of public trust. I remain hopeful that our better angels will answer this call.”
Thousands of people have protested the death of George Floyd and police brutality in Alexandria over the last several weeks.
Seifeldein said he hopes people of color will be well represented on the review board and that the city will have 90 days to present a detailed proposal of what the body will look like after engaging with the public.
The full draft resolution is below.
Establishing a Community Police Review Board and Condemning Systemic Racism
WHEREAS, for 8 minutes and 46 seconds on May 25, 2020, George Floyd, a Black man, died of asphyxiation as two police officers sat on him and held him while one other police officer pressed his knee and full body weight on Mr. Floyd’s neck as he pleaded for his life and repeatedly said “I can’t breathe.”
WHEREAS, the death of Mr. Floyd ignited a Nationwide protest for over 12 days demanding justice for Mr. Floyd and an end to police brutality against Black and Brown people. Mr. Floyd’s death follows the murder of Eric Garner, Dominique Clayton, Atatiana Jefferson, Yassin Mohamed, and Breonna Taylor at the hands of police.
WHEREAS, the City of Alexandria recognizes that these deaths are just the most recent in a tide of victims who have lost their lives due to police brutality; the recurrence of acts of violence and oppression committed by those sworn to serve and protect is the result of systemic racism.
WHEREAS, the City of Alexandria stands in solidarity with the Floyd family, his friends, the Minneapolis community, and the empowered activists and organizations calling for meaningful reforms to reverse discriminatory practices.
WHEREAS, the City of Alexandria condemns the use of force by law enforcement to suppress the protestors’ right to assemble peaceably.
WHEREAS, the City of Alexandria acknowledges that the plight of Black and Brown Americans is not always explicit and present in the form of police brutality, but also entrenched in institutions such as the judicial system, the electoral process, career advancement, education, housing, and the health care system.
WHEREAS, the City of Alexandria recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed racial disparities in health and economic wellbeing.
WHEREAS, the City of Alexandria and all government officials have a duty to ensure the protection of all communities through actions and reform, including in the justice system.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the City Council of the City of Alexandria condemns police brutality and racism in our Nation.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the City of Alexandria calls upon state and federal elected officials to pass meaningful laws to prohibit the militarization of law enforcement, to reform the criminal justice system, and to reform police immunity laws.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the City Council of the City of Alexandria recognizes that gathering data on the demographics of police encounters with the public is an imperative step in holding law enforcement accountable and shall be added to the City Council work plan.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the City Council of the City of Alexandria recognizes the urgent need to adopt a police body worn camera policy and it shall make it a priority in the City Council work plan.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the City Council of the City of Alexandria is committed to exploring new 21st century public safety models.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the City Council of the City of Alexandria hereby establishes a Community Police Review Board within 90 days of passing this resolution. The City Manager and the City Attorney are directed to return to Council in the first Legislative Meeting of September with a proposal to establish the Community Police Review Board.
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, the City of Alexandria reaffirms that Black Lives Matter.
Photo via Alexandria Police Department/Facebook