By Eagle Newswire
Dr. Tiffany Crutcher, Founder of the Terence Crutcher Foundation is due to speak at a briefing titled 21st Century Policing on Capitol Hill on Monday, May 13, 2019.
According the sponsors of the briefing, about 1,000 people are killed by police each year, making nearly every state and district impacted. This epidemic of police violence became the focus of national disclosure in 2014 with the federal government participating in that conversation. A President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing was convened, as was a U.S. House Policing Strategies Working Group. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) was carrying out its congressional mandate to examine systemic policing failures. There were federal reports, recommendations, and investigations. With congress providing millions of dollars and resources to local police departments every year, it must conduct rigorous oversight and it must legislate to address issues affecting people’s civil rights like use of force, profiling, and militarization of police agencies.
Dr. Crutcher has been a staunch supporter of police reform since the tragic killing of her twin brother, Terence Crutcher, by then Tulsa, Oklahoma, police officer Betty Shelby. Early last month at the National Action Network Convention in New York City, Crutcher launched a national police reform campaign which seeks to abolish qualified immunity, a legal doctrine that shields government officials from being sued for discriminatory actions performed within their official capacity. She’s also calling for amending 18 U.S. Code 242, a federal statute that prohibits any person acting under the color of law to violate someone’s constitutional rights. Crutcher wants the legal standard an officer must meet (willful intent) to be lowered so federal officials can more easily indict police officers for biased killings.
In a statement from Crutcher she states: “After the latest string of police shootings in Oklahoma and the recent release of the Sandra Bland’s cell phone video of her police encounter, I feel that now is the time to push for mandatory intervention related to policing. I am Sandra Bland and I am Terence Crutcher and it is my duty to fight for their legacies.”
The briefing is sponsored by the ACLU, The Leadership Conference Education Fund, Human Rights Watch, NAACP LDF, Justice Roundtable, and Open Society Policy Center.