Over 400 Sign Petition to Ban Militarized Policing in Charlottesville

Over 400 people have now signed a petition in Charlottesville, Va. at http://bit.ly/cvillepeace

Almost all of the signers are from Charlottesville.

The petition is addressed to the Charlottesville City Council and reads:

We urge you to ban from Charlottesville:
(1) military-style or “warrior” training of police by the U.S. military, any foreign military or police, or any private company,
(2) acquisition by police of any weaponry from the U.S. military;
and to require enhanced training and stronger policies for conflict de-escalation, and limited use of force for law enforcement.

Here are some of the comments people have added when they signed:

Dismantling the police state is essential for the survival of democracy. The attacks on peaceful demonstrations and the infiltration of groups dedicated to peace and racial equality must be halted.

This WILL NEVER stand to have militarization of cops in OUR community.

Demilitarizing the police is a priority. As is changing police focus to a more community oriented and supportive role.

There is evidence that removing military-style-uniformed people from large gatherings reduces tension and contributes to a calmer, more peaceful atmosphere.

Dear Council Members. … Although not a Charlottesville (CHO) resident I am a UVA graduate and live near CHO. I spend lots of time in CHO having friends and relatives there. More so than elsewhere I frequent CHO’s restaurants and entertainment venues more so that elsewhere. I shop there frequently. … Accordingly, I feel I have a vested in CHO and matters that may affect me while in CHO. Police activity is certainly one of those. … Thank you … Dr. Brad Roof

We must do better!

This is disgustingly anti-american! We have no use for large-scale action against protesters or groups. Kent state all over again!

I believe it is very distressing to see police dressed in military gear, because it conotes aggression instead of protection. The image is immediate and, rather than descalting a situation, it can have the opposite affect, inciting it further.

I did not understand police inaction on the night if August 11, 2017 nor at the rally the following day. Why didn’t they police the Market Street garage, for example, after sending the protesters home? Police were all standing just outside the entrance while DeAndre Harris was being beaten by four White Supremacists, a few yards away. To my mind, the police did not do their job. An angry mob was set loose, resulting in the death of Heather Heyer and serious injury to many others.

Demilitarized the police everywhere!

In the absence of defunding/abolition, this is a good start. Thanks

When police show up,in military gear, it is threatening to all citizens and very likely to provoke a fight response. That response has proven to be necessary and appropriate in too many instances. How about the police concentrate on de escalating and keeping the peace..

Studies have shown that when police departments have storehouses of military grade weapons, they use them. Let’s invest in our communities prospering – through health care, nutrition, education, vocational training. Let’s create opportunity instead of antagonism.

We do not feel protected with over policing. We never did. I did not feel protected when there were snipers on the roofs of the downtown mall on the A12 anniversary – especially since we watched them watch passively as violent white supremacists threatened us. It scares me when I think of local officers being equipped with military style anything. Please ban these things for the safety of our community.

Examine the budget, examine the inventory. Have an independent evaluator do the inventory.

Give back to the military weapons that are military grade.

Also I believe we need to add more facilities for addiction and mental health services.

Demilitarize the police!

The militarized policing did us a lot of good in Aug 2017 (not). Stay out of our town. Instead, please bring in negotiators, mediators and people trained in restorative practices.

The purpose of military equipment is to kill. It is to be used in wartime, not against our own citizens. Get all military equipment out of the hands of US law enforcement personnel.

We already saw militarized policing on August 11/12 2017 and even more so on the first anniversary. We need to ban it.

This ‘warrior’ mentality is what informs the training. A police officer is responding to orders with certain training. For those orders to be effective, the trained officer needs to accept a premise concerning citizens, namely, we are each one of us a potential enemy/felon. Racial profiling is ‘baked into’ the training by who is training, and who is recruited. A warrior mentality appeals to personalities who can easily imagine a neighbor/citizen is the problem rather than asking what is the problem. Pax, J Ballenger

Hunter Peace Group members believe that the police in your City and all other cities and town should be given enhanced training and stronger policies for conflict de-escalation should be introduced as a matter of urgency. It seems somewhat incredulous that in this day and age there is not a much less violent way of bringing conflicts to an end. Firearms should not be used..

Substantially restrict or eliminate the use of projectiles of any kind (rubber bullets, bean bag rounds, gas rounds, flash-bang rounds) or chemical/biological weapons (tear gas/pepper spray) against people, conform to all rules of the Geneva Convention when interacting with the populace and uprisings, eliminate intimidation tactics, eliminate “qualified immunity” and refer all incidents of injury, death, or property destruction by police to the State Attorney General’s office for independent assessment and relevant prosecution.

yep. get rid of the 1033 program

While I live in Fluvanna County, I work and shop in Charlottesville. I hope that my residence zip code does not negate my desire for a police force that is responsive to all the public.

Thank you! It is beyond time!

No militarized police in Charlottesville

We need to set a good example.

I fully support this petition.

I am a City Resident.

We need the police, we greatly appreciate their service. We do not want to feel like we are in a police state, however. Police power should be adequate, but not militaristic.

We do not need or want the military in our streets. I say this as a former infantry officer. Soldiers are not trained for this work.

Durham, North Carolina, was the first US City Council to endorse such bans. Let’s make Chalottesville the second city in the nation and the first in Virginia!

I am afraid to demonstrate because I am afraid that the police will attack me. I am seventy years old. I would really like to see that change in my lifetime. I have been waiting since 1960; can the change please be now?

Here in the USA, the police are NOT the military, and they may not “play” like they are in the military. I no longer trust the police to protect the public, because I get the sense that most of them are on the white supremacist side of things and the “guilty until proven innocent” way of thinking. I feel like the police believe that they can do whatever they like and not be held accountable. Giving them military grade gear/weaponry is inviting a very, VERY dangerous situation. NO militarized policing in Charlottesville, or anywhere else in Virginia.

I appreciate this much needed action and all efforts to pursue this positive peaceful social change!

This is wonderful! Thank you to all of you who are responsible for putting this together.

To Cville police, yes demilitarize but also thank you for your peaceful, watchful presence on June 7 during the large, peaceful protest against any brutality against our sisters and brothers of color-well done. thank you

The sharing of military-grade accessories with a small town community police force is absurd. I dont want it

THANK YOU FOR INITIATING THIS!

No militarized policing. Period! The U.S. should not wage war on its own people, or any people anywhere!

Now is the time for Charlottesville to rethink policing. Stop the violence, stop the aggression against our citizens.

An idea whose time has truly come! Thank you!

The military and the police are not part of each other!!!

C’Ville is a peaceful, just city overall. Let’s make it even better.

The behaviors addressed in this petition were wrong when they started and they are wrong now. Police should be trained broadly in de-escalation rather than the ‘us vs. them’ style of conflict that occurs today. Let’s make Cville a shining example of what can be.

This is pretty sane town. Violence begets the same.

Especially at this time with all the emphasis on police brutality!

It is way past time to de-militarize police departments. It must be done now. It is also the time to train all police officers in the history of racism in this country. how rampant it still is, and how it has to stop.

Do police departments really train officers to “protect” EVERYONE?

Militarization of the police must be reversed. We do not want to live in an occupied country. The police should never be an instrument able to impose elite rule on the people. If they are allowed to exist they should be servants of the people not unaccountable private power. Demilitarization is a crucial first step in moving the United States beyond its oppressive political foundations.

This is not to voice distrust. It is to insure a community service attitude over an enemy-dominance-centric one too common elsewhere.

Our beloved community needs resources that built trust and healing. Please divert funds used for military training and weapons of war to assist community members with significant needs.

We do NOT want any police that act like the out of control militaristic fanatics armed with tear gas and exploding cans with rubber in them to use on peaceful protesters. Yes, I’ve watched the videos from Washington DC. The police are out of control and need to be reined in or fired.

The police are not the military and weaponry and trainings that simulate war are not beneficial.

No militarized police.

Police are supposed to be peacekeepers not an armed militia to control citizens.

And no kneeling on people’s neck!

Healthcare not Warfare.

Militarized policing should never have happened in the United States.

Please keep Charlottesville at the forefront of this movement. The world is watching.

We need a STRONG PCRB like all the other states are forming.

I work in Charlottesville. I consider it my home town. Please, protect our citizens by demilitarizing the police. Thank you.

Also, ban tear gas in Charlottesville!

Charlottesville is positioned to be a national leader. This is the time to Do The Right Thing.

It’s a stellar idea!

I own a home and plan to retire in Charlottesville soon. I have family there. I want to live in a just and equitably safe town.

Eliminate militarized policing NOW.

a 43 year resident of Charlottesville, now in Durham, NC

We need police force education and training but “military-style” is not only not necessary but is counterproductive.

Please and thank you

We can be a role model since we are famous.

I have friends and family in C’ville, and hope that this city can help lead the way in de-escalation and demilitarization.

NOW is the time.

Militarized police treat citizens like enemy combatants. More community policing, more protect and serve, more funding for treating addictions and mental health issues properly.

Former resident of Charlottesville. I have shared the link to this petition widely. Militarization of the police is one of the stupidest ugliest things to come out of the illegal invasion of Iraq.

This is the least we can do to bring real justice to our community and make everyone safe.

This is a decent first step.

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