For Immediate Release Monday, September 14, 2015
The Libertarian Party applauds the efforts of Campaign Zero to go beyond merely protesting the injustices perpetrated by law enforcement on citizens of the United States to proposing specific, well thought-through changes in government policy. They include:
- Prohibiting excessive use of police force
- Ending the use of military equipment by police
- Ending ‘policing for profit’ where law enforcement agencies get to keep the assets they seize from citizens in police raids,
- Giving citizens the authority to set policing policies in their communities,
- Requiring body cameras on police, and
- Ending protections written into union contracts that put police above the law.
“The measures proposed by Campaign Zero are a great start,” said Nicholas Sarwark, Chair of Libertarian Party. “But we need more. The failed and deadly War on Drugs is the driving force behind many of today’s unjust police practices.”
Drug prohibition is used as a reason for racial profiling, police militarization, asset forfeiture, and violent SWAT raids. Poor minorities are often the victims. Millions of peaceful black men have been harassed, subjected to indignities, and locked up for the Drug War. Millions have spent the prime years of their lives in prison.
The Drug War has also driven up crime in poor neighborhoods, victimizing their residents even more.
“The Libertarian Party asks all Americans to consider that voting for Democrats or Republicans who support or who voted for unjust police tactics or for the failed, deadly War on Drugs is exactly what keeps these bad policies in place,” said Sarwark. “Giving them your vote sustains them and is tantamount to condoning a modern-day form of slavery.”
“Democratic and Republican politicians will sustain policies to harass, abuse and incarcerate minorities,” he continued. “They’ll let cops off scot-free for killing a harmless street peddler or a man carrying a legal weapon. Even if the victim’s family wins a civil lawsuit, such as in the cases of Freddie Gray or Eric Garner, the police won’t pay. Rather, politicians will force taxpayers — the same oppressed citizens who get harassed by cops daily — to foot the bill.”
“This is Big Government injustice, premised on bad laws, piled on top of more bad laws and protection for police brutality,” he said. “This must change if we are to see justice in America. Unjust behavior must be punished, not rewarded.”
To free oppressed minority communities in America; to end the failed, deadly War on Drugs; to free its harmless victims from unjust incarceration; and to make the changes proposed by Campaign Zero, citizens must vote only for the candidates who will work tirelessly to implement these policies.
The Libertarian Party runs candidates for local, state and federal office who are committed to this challenge. If elected, they will work to end police brutality and bring peace, dignity, and justice to all Americans.