Weekly Update - June 11, 2020

In this issue...

Big Victory in NY: Repeal of 50-a

Community Action Across CT & NY: #DefundPolice & Protect Black Life

 

Big Victory in NY: Repeal of 50-a

 

As protesting and rebellion over police brutality against Black people explode across the country following the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, New York lawmakers took action Tuesday by voting to repeal 50-a -- a 44-year-old state law used by police departments to shield disciplinary records. This victory was made possible after years of advocacy and community organizing by families of New Yorkers who have been violated or murdered by police, grassroots groups around the state and Communities United for Police Reform (CPR), a coalition which Katal is proudly a part.

The Repeal 50-a bill makes police disciplinary records subject to Freedom of Information Law, or FOIL requests, similar to most records kept by public agencies. Read the full CPR release at this link.

Bill sponsor Senator Jamaal Bailey (D-Bronx) in an emotional floor speech before the bill passed, said the following:

“The silver lining on this incredibly dark cloud is that the sun is finally starting to shine on injustice. Maybe it’s the unmistakable, and in my opinion indisputable, video evidence that we saw a live murder on TV, but it’s done something to the consciousness of America. I don’t know if there could be a more meaningful piece of legislation for me and this body because it’s way more than just policy.” 

 


Community Action Across CT & NY: #DefundPolice & Protect Black Life

 Katal’s youngest member, Shai E., holds a signup during Sunday’s Rally for Black Lives in Troy, NY.

 

This weekend Katal members, Katal organizer Marketa Edwards and lead organizer Kenyatta Thompson, joined hundreds of protesters in Troy, NY, Hartford, CT, and New Haven, CT to peacefully demand that police are defunded and Black lives are protected.

 

Shai giving out #LessIsMoreNY stickers to protesters as they walk by.

 

These powerful, and historic community actions follow the awful murder of George Floyd, which was the breaking point for Black people after centuries of violence, discrimination, and injustice inflicted upon our communities and people of color across the world. 

We will continue our organizing in Connecticut, New York and beyond to end mass incarceration and the drug war. We will hold elected officials accountable, especially those, like Cuomo and Lamont, who are expressing dismay at the murder of George Floyd but have yet to use their power to change the material conditions of systemic racism that lead to such deaths. 

Read our latest op-ed by Katal’s Lorenzo Jones, George Floyd & Racism in America: The Time is Now at this link.

 

Katal members & leaders at the Capitol in Hartford for a die-in and speak out to demand Gov. Lamont release as many people as possible from CT prisons and jails.

 

 

Check out videos and photos from the Troy, NY protest thread here, and the CT protests thread here.

Please be safe out there and take care of each other. Keep practicing social distancing, wash your hands, and check in on your neighbors. If you want to get involved, learn more about our work, or just connect, please don’t hesitate to reach out - we’re online and on socials via @katalcenter.

 

For printing and distribution, Katal Weekly Update PDF version.


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