THE BLACK POLICY AGENDA
African American Policy Demands
Actionable Policies to Reduce and Eradicate Police Misconduct and Police Brutality
Qualified immunity is a legal doctrine in United States federal law that shields government officials from being sued for discretionary actions performed within their official capacity, unless their actions violated "clearly established" federal law or constitutional rights. Federal law will be amended to remove qualified immunity as an obstacle to holding law enforcement officers accountable for their misconduct.
Officers who are the subject of previous civilian complaints – regardless of whether those complaints are for excessive force, verbal abuse or unlawful searches – pose a higher risk of engaging in serious misconduct in the future. Create a national registry for police officers with a history of civil complaints and misconduct.
The Bureau of Justice Statistics will collect and report police misconduct data, specifically including allegations, type of misconduct, misconduct investigation outcomes, and civil judgment award amounts by jurisdiction.
Until the year 2026 there will be a five percent annual reduction in misconduct rates by police agencies receiving federal funding. Police agencies that fail to reduce misconduct rates will receive a five percent reduction in federal funds based on the previous year’s funding level.
Uniform Type 1 and 4 Citizen Review Boards in all police jurisdictions with predominantly Black communities. The Review Boards will also have the authority to “recommend changes in department policies and procedures and suggest improvements in training, arrange for mediation and assist the police or sheriff’s department to develop or operate an early warning system for identifying problem officers.” Refer to “Citizen Review of Police. Approaches and Implementation” for description of Type 1 and Type 4 Citizen Review Boards. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/184430.pdf
Law enforcement officers across the United States must present proof of professional liability insurance for the duration of employment as a police officer. Police agencies will not reimburse police officers for cost of liability insurance premiums.
Law enforcement officers must have probable cause to detain any individual for any length of time. Law enforcement officers that hold any individual against their will without probable cause are acting outside the scope of their legal authority as law enforcement officers and will be treated as common citizens committing an illegal act of false imprisonment or kidnapping.
All law enforcement officers must undergo regular evaluations of their mental health by independent licensed practitioners in determinations of fitness for duty.
Determinations of fitness for duty will be public record. Evaluations must include racial and gender latent bias assessments.
Actionable Policies to Reduce Harm from the Prison-industrial Complex
Eliminate the use of incarceration for nonviolent first-time offenders, excluding crimes involving the use or possession of a lethal weapon.
Eliminate three strikes laws. This will be retroactively applied to all nonviolent offenders.
Reinstitute the right to a speedy trial. No individual will be held in an institutional facility without trial for longer than 90 days.
The Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 will be amended to reduce the criminal penalty disparity between possession of crack and powder cocaine weight ratio to 1:1.
No person under the age of 16 will be subject to trial in the adult criminal justice system, nor housed in an adult facility under the age of 18. Youth that commit heinous crimes will be held in juvenile facilities until the age of 18 and subject to new sentencing upon adulthood based on risk of recidivism and capacity for successful reintegration with society.
Juvenile offenders with minor offenses that have been determined by valid formal risk assessments to have low risk of recidivism will be diverted from formal contact with the juvenile justice system.
Marijuana will no longer be classified as a Schedule 1 drug and possession will no longer be an offense for which imprisonment is used.
Actionable demands for addressing political disenfranchisement.
Felons will automatically have their voting rights restored upon completion of probation, parole, and incarceration.
Non-partisan independent commission will be established to redraw voting districts for national elections.
Voter registration laws must be consistent across the US for national elections.
Independent commissions subject to oversight from the United Nations will have responsibility for managing the voter registration and voting process in national elections.
United Peoples of Black America Recovery and Reinvestment Act to eliminate disparities in income and asset wealth for Black Americans (Economic Crisis akin to the last US Great Recession)
Enact a basic income program with a progressive and unconditional direct cash transfer to African American individuals and families up to $1,000 per month.
Implement a Guaranteed Federal Jobs Program at or above a living wage in the recipients community.
The Family Self Sufficiency Program will be offered as an option to all Section 8 Recipients and income eligible low income households with one child or more in rental properties, who have never owned a home.
There will be a tax credit of 10% of the price of a home (up to $10,000) for first-time African American home buyers (Income < $250,000). There will be a tax credit of 5% of the price of a home (up to $7,500) for African American replacement home purchases.
The federal government will establish interest free loans for business expansion of African American small businesses with predominantly black workforces.
Eliminate expected parental contribution eligibility requirement for African American college students.
The poverty guidelines used to determine eligibility for public assistance programs will be raised by 20% to accommodate the needs of two-parent working poor households.
The poverty guideline formula will be recalculated to reflect current household budget allocations for basic goods like food.
Increase the maximum amount of taxable earnings for social security to $500k.
Expand quota-based governmental contracting with African American businesses.
Free higher education at Historically Black Colleges and Universities for African Americans.
African Americans graduating in the STEM fields will be eligible for zero percent interest loans to start businesses with majority African American laborers.
African American businesses that contract with continental Africans businesses for services and goods will receive a five percent tax deduction.
Treat all startup black businesses as non-profit entities for 60 months after inception.
There will be a college and advanced degree loan repayment plan for African Americans who work in the STEM fields or civic services worth $10,000 per year of service for up to ten years.
Businesses that have proportional African American and Gender employment representation at all levels of management within their organization will receive a five percent tax deduction.