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Mayor Eric Johnson
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Dallas Police Review Board
Suggested subject line: Urging the city to reform its police use-of-force policies

I am writing to you in response to the recent killing of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and the protests that have followed in cities across the country. Police violence has become more common in suburban and rural areas since 2013, and thus, I have a great deal of concern about the potential for this sort of abuse to happen in our community.
Specific policies relating to the use of force have a significant impact on the prevalence of excessive force and abuse within a police department. I have not been able to find the City of [CITY NAME] Police Department's use-of-force policies on the internet. I urge the city to publish these policies publicly and accessibly — it’s extremely important for every resident of [CITY NAME] to know what they may be subject to should they interact with a member of our police force.
I also urge our police department to implement these eight simple guidelines, as developed by the Campaign Zero, in its training procedures and use-of-force policies (if any of them do not already apply):
1. Require officers to de-escalate before they use force.
2. Ban chokeholds and carotid restraints, or strictly limit those techniques to only the most dire situations.
3. Develop and enforce a use-of-force continuum that specifically outlines what levels of force and which weapons are appropriate for each specific degree of resistance.
4. Require officers to report all uses of force and threats of force.
5. Prohibit officers from shooting at moving vehicles.
6. Require officers to give a verbal warning before using force.
7. Require officers to exhaust all alternatives before using force.
8. Uphold a duty to intervene when an officer witnesses another officer using excessive force.

According to a study by the Use of Force Project, police violence is reduced by 72% in departments that abide by all eight of these policies versus those that use none of them. Police officers hold a great deal of power, and as such we must hold them to very high standards. There must be accountability measures in place to prevent abuses before they happen, and prevent past offenders from striking again.
I believe I speak for everybody in our community when I say that even one killing — like those suffered in recent days by George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and David McAtee, to name a few — is unacceptable. The time for reform and transparency is now. 

Thank you for your time,
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