Editor's note: The following is the list of official demands made by the Black Lives Matter chapter in DeKalb to the DeKalb city government, DeKalb Police Department and correlating countywide agencies regarding racial inequality and injustice in the community spurred by ongoing local protests which began after the death of George Floyd.
We the people, solidified by the common goal of creating a more equitable community with trustworthy law enforcement officers, have presented the following list of demands:
Excessive force prosecution:
1. Any officer who uses, or has a past history of using excessive force needs to be indicted and fired without severance pay.
2. Any officer who uses, or has a past history of using a chokehold needs to be indicted and fired without severance pay.
3. Any officer who does not intervene and de-escalate police use of excessive force must be indicted and fired without severance pay.
4. Press charges against and fire Sgt. Jeffrey Weese for his use of an illegal chokehold without severance pay.*
5. Prosecute officers privately, under a state’s attorney subcontract, to prevent people who work with the police from prosecuting the police.
6. Mandatory, public reports for any time an officer unholsters a weapon, lethal or less lethal, as well as any use of force, which includes justification for the action.
7. Mandatory, public reports for any case that requires or received medical treatment as a result of an arrest, unless the arrested individual requests that information remains private.
8. Publicly display officer records and information about all complaints filed against officers.
9. All officers in DeKalb must have full body camera coverage any and every time they interact with citizens, and must immediately be indicted and terminated in the event they tamper with, disable, or obstruct the camera.
10. Require police to present a clear and understood warning before firing any weapon.
11. Adopt a community-led public safety model.
11a. Replace officers with social workers as first responders for non-violent mental health, drug, and domestic cases.
11b, Police response to non-violent mental health, drug, and domestic cases should only be considered as a last resort.
12. Current and future police officers must complete crisis intervention training and de-escalation training.
13. Require police, or any other party aiding in de-escalation, to exhaust all other alternatives of de-escalation, starting from least to most invasive, before firing any weapon.
14. Cut the Police Department’s Patrol Division’s budget by 50%, and divert those funds to hiring social workers, providing de-escalation training for officers and social workers, investing in the DeKalb County Community Mental Health Board, and the Annie Glidden North Revitalization Project.
15. Police need to be banned from any school that serves children under 18 years of age.
16. The city of DeKalb will partner with the DeKalb Tenant Association to establish and enforce a common lease.
17. Ban the city of DeKalb from working, or collaborating in any way, with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
* In August, DeKalb Police Sgt. Jeffrey Weese was seen on video arresting Elonte McDowell, a Black man, using what a police forensic doctor described as a chokehold.The arrest gained national attention as McDowell yelled "I can't breathe." Weese was placed on desk duty pending an investigation by the Illinois State Police which later included a DeKalb County grand jury who declined to press criminal charges against Weese. In February, after an internal investigation by the DeKalb Police Department, Weese was placed on unpaid suspension for up to 30 days, ordered to undergo cultural competency training and prohibited from being promoted for a year.