Investigate the MPD Now! Call-In to Support J20 Defendants

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Part of the Week of Solidarity with J20 Defendants, July 20-27, 2017

During Trump’s inauguration in Washington D.C., a city block was cordoned off for the entire afternoon while over 200 protesters were assaulted with police projectiles, denied food and restrooms, and abused in conditions which are now subject of an ACLU lawsuit. Given outrageous boilerplate charges, each defendant now faces at least 8 felonies and a possible 75 years in prison.

In February, the Office of Police Complaints (OPC) released a report detailing all of the possibly illegal behavior of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) that they observed on Inauguration Day. D.C. Council thankfully included funding for an investigation into police abuse on J20 for the 2018 budget, but that may not be soon enough for some defendants who are set to go to trial as early as November of 2017. The investigation could generate information favorable to defendants.

We need your help to pressure the city to fund the investigation immediately.

Call-In to Investigate the Police – July 20th – 27th

Demand an immediate and full investigation into MPD’s conduct on inauguration weekend!

1) Call Rochelle Howard at the Office of Police Complaints at (202) 727-3838 or e-mail dcpolice.complaintsoffice@dc.gov.

2) Call Mayor Bowser’s chief of staff at (202) 727-6263, e-mail them at eom@dc.gov, or tweet her at @MayorBowser

Let us (and others) know on social media! DefendJ20 is on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Call in Script:

Make the below script your own. You want this to be a human interaction. If you live outside of DC, emphasize that people from all over the country came to DC to protest, and that the actions of the police represent DC to everyone who may come here to make their voice heard.
Hello, my name is _____ and I live at _____.
 
I’m calling because I was happy to see that the 2018 budget includes funding for an Office of Police Complaints investigation into the MPD’s conduct on Inauguration Day. However, with the first trials from the Inauguration mass-arrests taking place in November of this year, it is necessary for the investigation to begin even sooner. OPC (the Office of Police Complaints) plays an invaluable role in investigating the police and it would not be right for those trials to take place without the findings of their investigation, which could generate relevant information.
 
I agree with OPC’s February report when it states, “Of most concern are the potential violations of the First Amendment Assemblies Act related to: limiting arrests and citations to specific non-compliant demonstrators for whom there is probable cause; providing multiple audible warnings, a clear dispersal route, and sufficient time to disperse, when dispersal is deemed necessary; and refraining from using police lines to surround demonstrators unless there is widespread unlawful conduct.” A full investigation should cover all of these aspects in detail, as well as any documented decision-making that preceded those acts.
 
I encourage you to find a way to allocate current funds to begin this investigation right away. I was unsettled when I read about MPD officers’ potentially illegal conduct in the OPC’s February report on the Inauguration demonstrations. People come from all over the country to make their voices heard in Washington, and police here should be held to the highest standards when it comes to the rights of protesters.
Thank you, and I hope you will begin the investigation promptly and before trial begins in November.

TIPS ON MAKING AN IMPACTFUL PHONE CALL

    -Make it personal: why are you (as a resident of DC if applicable) upset over the police violence and mass arrests on Inauguration Day?
    -Allow time for the person to respond.
    -Make this a conversation—with all the calls coming in, this will make yours more memorable.
    -Be clear and end the conversation with a clear call to action.

Important links: