JUSTICE RVA PUBLIC STATEMENT ON MEETING AT RICHMOND POLICE ACADEMY

Posted: February 10, 2015 in Uncategorized

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justice4rva@gmail.com

For Immediate Release

JUSTICE RVA PUBLIC STATEMENT ON MEETING AT RICHMOND POLICE ACADEMY

February 10, 2015

Justice RVA is a multi-cultural group based in Richmond, VA struggling towards collective liberation, with a focus on ending policing, mass incarceration, and other institutionalized oppressions using an intersectional approach. We take objection to the “Police and Peeps Community Conversation” taking place on Tuesday, February 10th and recognize it as an empty gesture from public officials, set up specifically by Richmond police and select individuals–not the greater Richmond community. Justice RVA does not endorse this event. This is not to throw shade on any particular group as we appreciate all work for social justice, this is just our collective decision and the rationale is listed below.

This meeting is not a community conversation, based on its very structure. There is no way for open discussion to happen at the Richmond Police Academy, because this is not neutral territory. People who are the most likely targets of police violence and harassment will never feel comfortable at the site where individuals are trained to work within the racist, ablest, and violent structures of modern day policing. The structure of a Q&A does not foster a conversation, especially because there is no time allotted for audience rebuttal to statements made by the police, but only an opportunity for police to take up media air time. There has been no public process offered to maintain accountability and to take the feedback from the meeting into quantifiable action. Accountability to the community is especially suspect in light of the restriction of cameras to record this event.

If the Richmond Police and the City of Richmond really want to support the Richmond community, we need to see action on the demands Justice RVA publicly announced at the January 12th General City Council Meeting. The Richmond community’s demands have already been voiced. Putting forth this meeting is just another example of the failure of the Richmond Police to really hear the community they supposedly serve and protect.

Specifically, Justice RVA has already voiced a grievance that the Richmond Police have failed to protect the Richmond LGBTQ community from discrimination and violence and know that the Richmond City Jail is the grounds of atrocious acts of violence against individuals incarcerated there. We demand that a more accessible citizen-watch board for the Richmond City Police and Richmond City Jail is implemented, that Richmond City provide more support for rehabilitation and restorative justice, and mass incarceration is finally ended.

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