Be sure to check out the featured op-ed this morning on WRAL.com by Durham State Representative (and former Chief District Court Judge) Marcia Morey. The piece started out as a letter Morey sent to her Durham constituents, but the contents are a “must read” for all North Carolinians — particularly Morey’s colleagues in the General Assembly.
Here are some excerpts:
“In my 18 years as a judge I saw many incidents of injustice and misuse of police power. I left the bench to come to the General Assembly to fight for justice and equality. I remain committed to do so especially in this day and time.
I agree we need reform now. In my three years in the House of Representatives I have advocated for criminal law reform including: end cash bail, require that any person in jail for misdemeanor charges have a right to a first appearance, stop 16 and 17 year olds from being prosecuted as adults, and the Second Chance Act to help restart lives of those who have been incarcerated.”
- Require officers to de-escalate situations, where possible, by communicating with subjects, maintaining distance, and otherwise eliminating the need to use force.
- Ban officers from using chokeholds and strangleholds, in many cases where less lethal force could be used instead.
- Require officers to intervene and stop excessive force used by other officers and report these incidents immediately to a supervisor.
- Restrict officers from shooting at moving vehicles, which is regarded as a particularly dangerous and ineffective tactic.
- Develop a Force Continuum that limits the types of force and/or weapons that can be used to respond to specific types of resistance.
- Require officers to exhaust all other reasonable means before resorting to deadly force.
Morey’s list is not exhaustive. There are many experts around the country who believe that an even more comprehensive restructuring of American policing is necessary and those conversations need to commence. In the mean time, though, Morey”s list provides a solid starting point. Click here to read the entire letter.