Ethan and Fredo from Circles and Ciphers created a great song to teach their peers about their rights with the police. Listen below:
Here is a video version:
This curriculum provides participants with information about how to behave during interactions with law enforcement or other disciplinarians, the action steps necessary to navigate out of the juvenile justice system, and resources in Illinois to support further advocacy to defend the rights of youth. Intended for use by emerging educators and youth advocates such as young people themselves, youth development practitioners, teachers, social workers, community members, law students and others, this curriculum offers five different chapters to educate participants about the juvenile justice system in Illinois
The curriculum was designed for Illinois residents and is available to other jurisdictions, but will need to be adapted to reflect the local laws, policies and ordinances.
Downside of ‘Stop and Frisk’ (AUDIO – PODCAST)
Since 2003 the number of “stop and frisk” encounters by the New York City Police Department has more than tripled, from roughly 161,000 to 576,000 in 2009, but only about 12 percent of those people were charged with criminal activity, according to a report by the Center on Race, Crime and Justice at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Opponents of this practice call it racist–the majority of those stopped are black and Hispanic–as well as ineffective. “The return rate on these stops is minuscule,” says Delores Jones-Brown, director of the center and the lead author of the report, “Stop, Question & Frisk Policing Practices in New York City: A Primer.” “We would not accept that kind of return in any other profession.” Jones-Brown discusses how the policy has impacted the relationship between the NYPD and the public and what could be done to improve the communication between the two. “There needs to be a survey of police officers,” says Jones-Brown, “to determine what’s motivating them to engage in stopping.”
Poems about Police Violence – This collection of poems is included in the Activity Guide edited by Mariame Kaba. Caitlin Seidler has created a separate publication that includes only the poems. You can download it here (PDF).
Project NIA, the Chicago Freedom School and Teachers for Social Justice partnered with other volunteers to develop a curriculum guide in order to contribute to the ongoing efforts by young people and their adult allies to analyze the root causes of youth violence and to create local solutions. The guide was co-edited and co-authored by Mariame Kaba. There is a curriculum unit written by Mariame about police violence (pp. 165-182).
Teach Burge: Between 1972 and 1991, Chicago Police Department (CPD) officers tortured at least 112 African American men and youth. Victims were as young as 13 years old, and at least 26 officers were involved. CPD Detective Jon Burge, the leader of CPD’s Area 2 midnight shift on the South Side of Chicago, appears to have been primarily responsible for introducing the torture techniques, which included electric shock, suffocation, burns, many kinds of beatings, use of cattle prods, use of nooses, mock executions with guns, and genital pain. Burge likely learned the electric shock tactic during his service as a military police sergeant in a Prisoner of War camp during the Vietnam War. The practical goal of the torture was often to produce confessions from suspects that could be used to convict them or others of crimes under the purview of Area 2’s investigatory responsibilities, raising Area 2’s arrest and conviction rates and assisting Burge’s rapid rise through the CPD ranks. The torture was systemic and rooted in deeply held racist beliefs. In fact, Burge and his men referred to the apparently homemade electrical device that they used to shock men with as the “nigger box.” The torture became an “open secret” among both the CPD and the city’s political establishment.
Over the course of decades, torture survivors, their families and local organizers have fought for justice. The City of Chicago has acknowledged the torture, and the UN has called for redress. Yet scores of survivors still suffer from the ongoing impact of the trauma they endured – without compensation, assistance, or recourse.
Use this site to organize workshops and teach ins about police torture.
On the morning of December 4, 1969, lawyer Jeffrey Haas received a call from his partner at the People’s Law Office, informing him that early that morning Chicago police had raided the apartment of Illinois Black Panther Party Chairman Fred Hampton at 2337 West Monroe Street in Chicago. Tragically, Hampton and fellow Panther Mark Clark had both been shot dead, and four other Panthers in the apartment had critical gunshot wounds. Police were uninjured and had fired their guns 90-99 times. In sharp contrast, the Panthers had shot once, from the shotgun held by Mark Clark, which had most likely been fired after Clark had been fatally shot in the heart and was falling to the ground.