Time to reform APD

ACLU People Power — Alameda, applauds  Vice-Mayor John Knox-White and Councilmember Malia Vella’s proposed resident-led process with committees to examine a reform process for the Alameda Police Department (APD).  

We believe that due to the institutional systemic racism embedded in our city and in particular within APD, an independent Citizen Oversight Commission be formed and charged with appointing a process and citizen committees.

However, before we, as a community, can begin a phase of reform, we must reimagine our public health and safety. We must immediately act in one of two ways that provides for the public health, safety and general welfare for our Black community members and all Alamedans: 

1) reallocate APD funding to community support program services, or 
2) enact an immediate 50 percent reduction in APD’s budget and reallocate funding for community support programs.  

Without addressing the institutional systemic racism directly and first, Council continues to put our community’s Black lives at risk. 

Furthermore, Council’s action to hold a workshop diverts from bringing immediate consequences to eliminate systemic racism within APD. 

This again ignores and invalidates the Black experience with regards to disproportionate police violence, arrests and harassment in our city. 

We ask that Council reprioritze its focus by centering Black lives and experiences in this debate. 

Council must address the problem of racist policies and police violence, lack of public trust and public accountability, over-militarization and runaway budgets.  

To continue to do otherwise does not serve or support Black lives nor does it serve the will of the people calling for accountability now. 

We call on City Council to reduce and reallocate APD budget funding now and first, before taking steps to reform. 

— Amos White