Skip To Content
    This post has not been vetted or endorsed by BuzzFeed's editorial staff. BuzzFeed Community is a place where anyone can create a post or quiz. Try making your own!

    9 Ways The Federal Government Can Help End Police Brutality

    We are in a historic time and national leaders are more engaged with the crisis of systemic police violence and discrimination than they have been in years. A nationwide movement led by courageous Black and brown youth working to end police brutality is gaining stronger by the minute. 2015 is the year of change. President Obama, Attorney General Holder, and the federal government must do more than acknowledge today's crisis — they must do everything in their power to end it. Here are 9 concrete ways that federal officials can — and must — help end police brutality and protect Black lives today.

    1. A federal investigation of discriminatory policing in every state

    "Am I Next?" Young Protestor At The White House / Via Facebook: colorofchange

    Between 2002 and 2004, Chicago residents filed 10,149 complaints against the police. Only 124 for sustained. We demand a fully-resourced and rigorous civil rights and criminal investigation by the DOJ into discriminatory policing, excessive force, and death or injury by police in every state nationwide.

    2. An executive order enforcing and expanding police brutality and discriminatory policing

    Mike Brown memorial/Ebony / Via ebony.com

    There are plenty of federal laws on the books that, if enforced, could hold officers and police departments accountable when they discriminate, use excessive force, or kill unjustly. Currently, law enforcement and local prosecutors rarely hold their own officers accountable, creating a cycle of unrelenting police misconduct. And the federal government is supposed to intervene.

    3. A national database of policing practices

    Demand a national database of all those who have been killed by law enforcement. / Via killedbycops.org

    As of today, there is no federal database on police killings, police brutality or policing practices at large (arrests, stops, tickets etc). The recent bill passed by Congress calling for the collection of nationwide data on police killings is a major step forward towards greater transparency, but it could take years for the data to start coming in. We need widespread public pressure and engagement to ensure that the government collects this data in a way that leads to swift, real world change and police accountability — now.

    4. Increased funding for the DOJ to investigate civil rights abuse

    Protesters link arms after blocking an intersection after a vigil in St. Louis, Missouri, October 9, 2014. (Reuters/Jim Young) / Via rt.com

    Discriminatory, anti-Black policing is a nationwide human rights crisis and the Department of Justice needs more funding to properly intervene and implement solutions proportionate to the scale of the problem.

    5. Get abusive, killer cops off the force

    Million March Protest

    An estimated $346,512,800 was spent in 2010 on police misconduct-related civil judgements and settlements, excluding sealed settlements, court costs and attorney's fees. We demand a streamlined national use of force matrix that allows for the standardization of police discipline and nationally mandated Peace Officer Standards and Training Commissions (POST) in every state with inter-state coordination to prevent the re-hiring of abusive police.

    6. The de-militarization of law enforcement

    Politico / Via politico.com

    Every year, police conduct an estimated 45,000 violent, paramilitary SWAT raids, 80% of which are to search homes, usually for drugs, and unjustly target communities of color; Black Americans are only 14% of people who use drugs. We demand an end to the federal 1033 program that supplies law enforcement with military weaponry and requires their use within 1 year.

    7. Passage of the End Racial Profiling Act (ERPA)

    Colorlines / Via colorlines.com

    About 32 million Americans report they have been targeted by racial profiling at some point. 72% of traffic stops in the Northeast occurred with Black drivers who are only about 17% of the driving population. ERPA would ban racial profiling by law enforcement and require data collection and reporting.

    8. Community controlled policing and alternatives to incarceration

    Popular Resistance / Via popularresistance.org

    The policies and funding practices of the Department of Justice (DOJ) set the tone for law enforcement agencies across the country. We call for the DOJ to defund local police departments that engage in discriminatory policing and to reinvest in proven, effective alternatives to policing and incarceration that allow for greater community input over policing priorities, discipline, and transformative justice.

    For more info see: http://fergusonaction.com/demands/

    9. Passage of federal Right to Know and Community Safety Acts

    The Right To Know Act is a legislative package introduced in the NYC Council that aims to protect New Yorkers from unlawful searches while promoting communication, transparency and accountability in everyday interactions between law enforcement and the public. Americans want to live in a safe city where the police treat all residents with dignity and respect, where they are protected from illegal searches and seizures and where police are not considered to be above the law. A federal "Right To Know Act" would would be based on the NYC Right to Know Act.