On Saturday, December 13, the National Action Network (NAN), NAACP, and other civil rights organizations led the Justice For All March in Washington, DC. Thousands attended the march with the goal of compelling Congress to take legislative action to bring justice to the families of those slain by law enforcement.
Just 8 days before the march, founder and leader of the National Action Network Reverend Al Sharpton put out a call for protesters, allies, and supporters to converge on the nation’s capital. The families of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, and John Crawford III, all attended the march, joined by other survivors of violence by police and, in the case of Martin, “vigilantes.”
Last week, in a blog for the Huffington Post, Sharpton commended President Barack Obama for establishing a task force to brainstorm and develop concrete recommendations to address the the culture of militarized hyper-policing and use of excessive force that most often adversely impacts communities of color. He also acknowledged President Obama’s commitment to outfit some 50,000 police officers with body cameras – a direct response to the more than 150,000 people who demanded via petition for mandatory body cameras. Sharpton also took aim at Congress.
“Congress must immediately start hearings to deal with laws that will change the jurisdiction threshold for federal cases and policing,” Sharpton wrote. “The executive branch has addressed this most pressing issue, and now it’s time the legislative branch do the same.” Sharpton also called for the funding of body cameras for police officers.
He isn’t the only one calling for more lasting action. Last week, a delegation of the Mothers Against Police Brutality also appeared before Congress to urge them to take decisive action in how police-involved killings are prosecuted.
Mothers of Victims of Police Killings at Department of Justice demanding accountability from DC #blacklivesmatter pic.twitter.com/I9aS6l2zTz
— CODEPINK (@codepink) December 10, 2014
The delegation included 10 mothers from all over the country who’ve lost sons to police violence. Mothers Against Police Brutality supports mandatory body cameras, but they want to see Congress push for demands like same-day blood tests for officers involved in police-shootings, random drug testing for all law enforcement civil servants, and accountability of the district attorneys many officers work with.
Media Resources: Huffington Post Blog 12/8/2014; Whitehouse.gov Petitions 8/13/2014; Code- CodePink; Mothers Against Police Brutality