Resolutions are presented to the Fredericksburg Democratic Committee at regularly scheduled monthly meetings. We have a first reading with opportunity to discuss and change language. A vote is held at a following meeting unless the resolution is time sensitive.
FREDERICKSBURG DEMOCRATIC COMMITTEE SUPPORTS BLACK LIVES MATTER PROTESTS, POLICE REFORMS, AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORMS
Resolution in support of the Black Lives Matter Protests, Police Reforms, and Criminal Justice Reforms on a Federal, State, and Local levels.
WHEREAS, George P Floyd, Jr. was murdered by Minneapolis Police officers on May 25, 2020 and Breonna Taylor was murdered by Louisville Metro Police officers on March 13, 2020; joining a long list of Black victims of police violence; and
WHEREAS, their deaths have prompted a world-wide movement declaring ‘Black Lives Matter’; and
WHEREAS, these peaceful protests have been met with police violence across the country, including here in the City of Fredericksburg; and
WHEREAS, on Sunday, May 31, 2020 the Fredericksburg Police Department deployed tear gas, stun grenades, and other measures on the citizens of Fredericksburg, including Del. Joshua Cole who was among the protestors, and Chair of the FDC, Caitlin Bennett, who was among a group of concerned citizens who had gathered on Hanover St.; and
WHEREAS, there have been recorded incidents of unjust arrests of protesters in the City of Fredericksburg; and
WHEREAS, the Fredericksburg Police has a Special Equipment Tactical Team (SETT) that the FPD states “deploys in situations that have the potential to produce a violent encounter that is more serious than what the average officer would typically face during normal duties,” one of the listed use of force situations includes “planned demonstrations”; and
WHEREAS, in the past two weeks, multiple local grassroots groups have formed by local young adults to demand change in the City of Fredericksburg and in our society
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that we, the Fredericksburg Democratic Committee, support and join our local protestors and support several reforms on a Federal, State, and Local level:
1. Federal: That Congress take action to pass The Justice in Policing Act of 2020; and repeal the legal doctrine of “Qualified Immunity”; and repeal the 1033 program with the Department of Defense, and create a legal pathway for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to designate white supremacist organizations as domestic terrorist organizations.
2. State: That the General Assembly enact such reforms as decriminalization of drug possession, bail reform, and the demilitarization of the Virginia State Police; and increase funding for mental health services for the public and within police departments; and increase funding for school support staff to establish mediation programs in VA schools; and call on the Department of Education to review school textbooks and Standards of Learning (SOLs) to expand Black history and limit Lost Cause theories in schools.
3. City Council: Establish a Fredericksburg Police Citizen Review Board who would tackle use of force reviews, the role of Resource Officers in schools, and any future FPD complaints; and work with the community to establish a Human Rights Commission in that city as described in the VA Code § 15.2-965.
4. Fredericksburg City School Board: Eliminate James Monroe High School’s participation in the CleanSWEEP program and eliminate school Resource Officers’ involvement in non-criminal school violations. Limit the use of in-school-suspension and out-of-school suspensions and transition to mediation programs.
5. Fredericksburg Commonwealth’s Attorney Office: Individually assess the charges on citizens arrested during the protests, including curfew citations, and drop charges with the exception for charges for serious crimes.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we, the Fredericksburg Democratic Committee, will work with the Fredericksburg Community and governmental entities to push for these needed reforms and declare that Black Lives Matter.
Approved June 10, 2020