FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 17, 2016
CONTACT: Trina Tyler | Paris Fresh. 773-802-2633 | 312-772-2614 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Image Credit: Sarah-Ji Rhee (Facebook)
Happening Now: Today, March 17th, the Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100) Chicago Chapter disrupted the Chicago Police Board’s meeting in order to call a People’s Assembly. BYP100 members and allies, Assata’s Daughters and Organized Communities Against Deportations (OCAD), made it clear that they will continue to fight for police accountability in Chicago.
BYP100 is hosting a people’s assembly inside of the Chicago Police Department Headquarters in order to allow family members of people lost to police terrorism and community members to speak without interruption. “Lori Lightfoot and the Chicago Police Board have been pretending to listen to the people. We have been coming here since May of last year and have constantly been shut up with the phrase: Your time is up”, says BYP100 Organizer Megan Graves.
The Chicago Police Board’s job is to decide disciplinary cases involving police misconduct, but they have procrastinated on making a decision on the firing of officer Dante Servin, the off-duty police officer who murdered 22 year-old Rekia Boyd. In April 2015, a judge acquitted Servin of involuntary manslaughter and indicated that he should have been charged with murder; however, Servin could not be recharged due to double jeopardy protections.
Although the Chicago Police Board is not a publicity stunt like the new police accountability task force formed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel after the murder of Laquan McDonald, it is, in fact, a bureaucratic nightmare of inefficiencies that leave grieving families in limbo about whether or not they will receive justice for the death of their loved one.
BYP100 believes that Lori Lightfoot and the Chicago Police Board understand the problems within the Chicago Police department, but they have decided to ignore them. They assert that they are tired of being told that their two minutes are up and will hold a people’s assembly for the community to speak without interruption, and welcome victims of police violence and their families to speak.
Ashley Boyd of BYP100 said, “The Chicago Police Board now has a history of ignoring the community they are supposed to help protect. This time we are saying that we are done with Lori Lightfoot and the sham they call a Chicago Police Board. Your time is up Lori.” BYP100 announced that if the Chicago Police Board will not give the community a safe space to share their concern, they will provide a space for them.
The Chicago Police Board knows that they have the power to improve police accountability, but they have refused to put the recommendations by the community into action. BYP100 is also calling attention to the problem that 40% of the city’s budget goes to the Chicago Police Department even though an investment into social services have been shown to reduce gun violence and keep Black communities safe, such as: 311 rapid response social workers, gun violence interrupters, mental health care facilities, trauma centers, expanded park district programing, and democratically controlled and funded quality public schools. These services are denied critical funding in poor Black communities throughout the City while Chicago Police Department continues to see an ever increase in funding despite its continued failures.
BYP100 Chicago is committed to holding public officials accountable and continuing the fight for economic, racial, and political justice through demanding divestment from oppressive systems and investment in the lives of Black people.
In The News
Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100) is an activist member-based organization of Black 18-35 year olds, dedicated to creating justice and freedom for all Black people. We do this through building a network focused on transformative leadership development, direct action organizing, advocacy and education using a Black queer feminist lens. We are an organization affiliated with the Black Youth Project.
www.byp100.org – @BYP_100 – facebook.com/BYP100