George Floyd is a household name. How the world chooses to move forward beyond his untimely demise may give him one of two titles moving forward as either a sacrificial lamb, (one who eradicated police reform beyond the grave) or a forgotten symbol of hope. Breonna Taylor’s name is also ushering in a wave of unfiltered protest. Her family and a community remain hopeless while working through their trauma. No arrests have been made to date, in her case and countless others. She was home. Yet another untimely, and unprovoked homicide took place. This occurred by the hands of police officers displaying amateurish, fatal and unjustifiable behavior. Yet again, a Black life is no more by the hands of the citizens sworn by oath to protect them.
With statistics displaying evidence of ongoing systemic racism which likely contributed to police brutality of two American Citizens, these names are now also synonymous with police reform, may they rest in peace. As a result, many of the citizens throughout the US and beyond are asking one succinct question. What is the plan of action for citizens?
Here in Houston, TX, the Mayor, City Controller along with sixteen Council Members are elected every four years. Among this current group are many dedicated, intelligent, and sharp officials who appear to be forerunners and trailblazers, about the people and for the people. They listen and take action. Yet for one City Council Member in particular, the “noise” (in every good sense of the word), surrounding George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, has produced the perfect storm for police reform.
This is a delicate balance. Keep in mind, in order for there to be peace within our communities, we need policies to protect and support both citizens, and police officers. We are one. What impacts one of us, impacts us all.
What’s next for police reform in Houston? What exactly is Dr. Plummer’s 8 for 8? Today, June 4, Houston City Council Member, Dr. Plummer and Shariq Abdul Ghani, The Director of the Minaret Foundation, held a live straightforward discussion on social media. Dr. Plummer presented her recommendations in the form of budget amendments. With this in mind, her actions are intentional to bring aggressive change to City Hall and the Police Force, here in Houston.
About Dr. Plummer’s 8 for 8
- 8 City Council Members:
In order for the aggressive budget amendments to be passed, Dr. Plummer will need at least 8 votes from City Council Members. The voting will occur on Wednesday, June 10, 2020, at 9:00 am, according to Dr. Plummer.
- 8 Budgetary Amendment Recommendation:
- Ban Chokeholds & Strangleholds
- Require De-Escalation
- Require Warning Before Shooting
- Require Exhaust All Alternatives Before Shooting
- Duty to Intervene Ban Shooting At Moving Vehicles
- Ban Shooting At Moving Vehicles
- Require Use of Force Continuum
- Require Comprehensive Reporting
Why is this information relevant to Houston’s Citizens and Police Officers? “Data proves that together these eight policies can decrease police violence by 72%.” ~ City Council Member Dr. Letitia Plummer.
Where is the funding coming from to support the new Budget Amendments? Below you will see Budget Amendments in detail. One important factor that Dr. Plummer pointed out is that the money she is requesting is coming from reserved funds that officers have not used in 6 months.
What is the amount of those funds? 11.7 million dollars to be exact.
The following chart is courtesy of : https://www.houstontx.gov/council/4/budget-amendments.html
How can citizens of Houston support the Budget Amendments?
- Review the At-Large 4 Budget Amendments
- Contact friends to support the Amendments
- Contact your City Council Members requesting that they vote for the Budget Amendments. You can reach them at: https://www.houstontx.gov/council/
- About Breonna Taylor according to the New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/article/breonna-taylor-police.html
- About George Floyd according to the Houston Chronicle: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Large-Houston-crowd-memorializes-George-Floyd-15312644.php
- About 8 can’t wait research: https://8cantwait.org/
- About Council Member Letitia Plummer: https://www.houstontx.gov/council/4/about.html
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