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June 3, 2020

Statement on the June 2 Raleigh City Council Meeting from the #RaleighDemandsJustice Coalition, Recidivism Reduction Educational Program Services (RREPS), Raleigh PACT, Emancipate NC, Young Americans Protest (YAP), Carolina Peace Center, Black and Brown Policy Network, Orchid Bloom, and the ACLU of North Carolina:

“Raleigh community members have spent years calling for more transparency, oversight, and accountability for the Raleigh police department, starting in 2016 when a Raleigh police officer shot and killed Akiel Denkins, a 24-year-old Black father of two. Since that tragic injustice, city leaders have conducted dozens of community meetings on this very topic, even while incidents of police misconduct, particularly against people of color, continued to occur. 

And yet, despite the pleas of community members, city officials have not taken significant steps to prevent such tragedies from happening again or to hold police officers accountable when they violate people’s rights or use excessive force. 

The Raleigh City Council must stop paying lip service to its constituents and instead take action immediately to address protesters’ demands and move beyond racial equity training and community dialogue. 

The mayor, city council members, and other city officials must give full support to a police community oversight board with full disciplinary, investigatory, and subpoena powers and invest in community-led health and safety initiatives instead of police. They must also direct the Raleigh Police Department to implement a policy requiring police officers to intervene when a fellow officer uses excessive force and combat the over-policing of areas where a large number of Black residents live. If these policy changes are not implemented promptly, we echo the demand to remove Chief Deck-Brown from her office.”