Letters to the Editor

Now is the time for city leaders to act

The recent protests born from the murder of George Floyd have touched the world. Even our small towns in Iowa have participated in recognizing the urgent need for change. These protests once again bring to light systemic racism in our police and criminal justice systems. Each time a Black or Brown community is impacted by police violence, discussions take place about the need for change. Yet, rarely does any action occur.

We cannot go back to business as usual. Now is the time for action. There is a national crisis of violence against Black people. We must act now. We must call on our city and county leaders to act with a sense of urgency on bold reforms.

1. Form an independent citizen’s review board.

2. Make significant investments in diversity, equity, and inclusion.

3. Ban chokeholds, knee-to-neck maneuvers, and strengthen use of force standards.

4. Decriminalize minor marijuana crimes and other low-level offenses.

5. Impose strict body camera provisions.

6. Make negotiations between law enforcement and municipal representatives public.

7. Abolish qualified immunity.

Following the recent meeting between local Advocates for Social Justice organizers and city leaders, we support the work of these organizers and we ask that our city leaders act with the sense of urgency to meet the reforms proposed above. Now is the time to act.

Amy Adams

Cedar Rapids Metro Indivisible

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