April 28th forum set for Richmond community to discuss, plan next steps for police transparency campaign
WHEN: 1:30 p.m. Saturday, April 28th
WHO: Community members, New Virginia Majority, Legal Aid Justice Center, Advancement Project, and Southerners on New Ground (SONG)
WHAT: Community discussion, spoken word, overview of publicly released data
WHERE: Blackwell Community Center | 300 E 15th St, Richmond, VA 23224
Jasmine Leeward, Communications Associate from the New Virginia Majority writes:
On Saturday, April 28th, New Virginia Majority will host a community forum at Blackwell Community Center for community members to share stories of police stops, learn how data transparency is critical to fighting mass incarceration, and discuss the ongoing data transparency campaign’s next steps.
In February, after many months of grassroots organizing by New Virginia Majority along with coalition partners Legal Aid Justice Center, Advancement Project, and Southerners on New Ground (SONG); the Richmond Police Department (RPD) began publicly releasing use of force and complaint data, including race and gender of civilian involved and where incident occurred each month.
Since this victory, community members have also secured a commitment from RPD to start releasing additional, vital data on stop and frisks and traffic stops.
“Traffic stops and stop and frisks are conduits for the mass incarceration of Black people in Richmond and across America,” said Assaddique Abdul-Rahman, community organizer for New Virginia Majority. “Heavily policed communities are calling for more data transparency as one path toward bringing attention – and an end – to individual and systemic abuses.”
“The lack of publicly available information about who is policed and what that policing looks like prevents true accountability,” said Kim Rolla, Attorney, Civil Rights & Racial Justice Program for Legal Aid Justice Center. “We are committed to eliminating both unlawful and unjustified law enforcement contact with people in our communities, particularly low-income people and people of color. We look forward to hearing from community members and continuing conversations with Chief Durham and RPD to gather the information we need to guide us in this work.”