Tlaib, Response to the Detroit police chief’s demand for her resignation

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their lives do matter
Black Lives Matter protesters in Detroit last year. Note as well the crumbling infrastructure. Funding to fix the streets, and the water and sewer lines, and to build new things that never were, are part of the congresswoman’s Green New Deal program to make Detroit more prosperous and livable and less desperate and violent. Black Lives Matter photo.

Whom I represent

by US Representative Rashida Tlaib

We continue to see death after death of Black people at the hands of police officers with no meaningful accountability for the officers or departments involved.

We’ve seen money pumped into trainings and half-measures, but so-called police “reform” is not making our communities any safer. Instead of investing in police, incarceration, and criminalization, it’s time that we invest in and deliver safety.

That’s why, instead of investing in an increasingly militarized police force, we should be investing more resources into our community to tackle poverty, education inequities, and to increase job opportunities.

I have never shied away from speaking truth to power. That’s why I’ve repeatedly spoken out against the Detroit Police Department’s (DPD) violent treatment of our residents.

Report after report cites DPD’s harmful treatment of Black Lives Matter protesters. The city even took protesters to court, in an attempt to intimidate the movement.

Whether it’s violent attacks on protesters, such as a Detroit Police SUV plowing through a crowd and hospitalizing people (clearly seen on video), knocking protesters to the ground and putting them in chokeholds, and aggressively arresting hundreds of protesters exercising their right to free speech — I will continue to defend my residents against violent, racist policing.

This week, the Detroit Police Chief ran to FOX to call for my resignation. He even said he’d “throw [me] a goodbye party.”

I’m not going anywhere.

Chief Craig went on a local FOX station to question who I speak for when I say we need to divest from the police. I represent the communities that are afraid to be pulled over by the police because they are scared that they could be murdered.

The $300 million that’s spent on DPD each year would be better spent on addressing poverty, education, and jobs in our communities.

I will continue to work on policies that address systemic problems in our communities — such as banning racist facial recognition surveillance — to ensure every person feels safe and has the opportunity to thrive.

 

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