Photo by R.D. Lopez/Shots from Richmond
The following list of demands was developed by the Richmond Our Power Coalition. Together, we are calling on the city of Richmond to Defund the Police and Invest in Black Lives.
- Ku Klux Klan Rally on MacDonald Ave in Richmond on July 4, 1924.
- 1946: A boycott and picket line was organized in response to Lucky’s Supermarket refuses to hire black workers
- 1952: A cross was burned at the home of Wilbur Gary (2821 Brook Way) Rollingwood neighborhood in unincorporated San Pablo (purchase was negotiated by a white intermediary) Sheriff refused to protect the family
- CCC Sheriff Killing of Denzel Dowell on April 1, 1967 led to first Black Panther Newspaper
- 1982: Roman-Guillory case exposes RPD Cowboys and results in the largest civil penalty, $12 million, in US history for police violence. Required the creation of Richmond Police Commission and Richmond Police Activities League. 60 Minutes does a report on the case.
- On October 28, 1983 Willie Lee Drummgoole sustained a neck injury and died while in custody of the Richmond Police Department.
- October 1982 the Richmond NAACP Rallied for charges in the Drumgoole case. The KKK staged a counter-rally with dramatic images of the RPD standing close to the KKK demonstrators.
List of Demands
Richmond Our Power Coalition
Honoring the Movement for Black Lives
The Richmond Police have a long and infamous history of racial abuse against the Richmond community, particularly African American and other communities of color.
We recognize that the Police have historically been charged with protecting Property, Capital, White Privilege, White Fragility and White Supremacy.
We find it necessary to reconsider the roles and responsibilities of Police in our community so that Black People can be safe.
The City of Richmond must invest in Black Lives and invest in Black futures with the choices they make when funding public safety, and those serving in their official capacity.
Because the police have been vested with the power to take human life they must be held to the highest standard:
- We demand police culture change to a culture that values Black Lives.
- We demand the police be held to the highest standard.
- We demand that the City repair the damage done by over-policing the Black community.
- The City of Richmond must invest in Black Lives and invest in Black futures with the choices they make when serving in their official capacity.
R.D. Lopez/Shots from Richmond
Richmond Police Department, Contra Costa County Sheriff
and all policing in WCCUSD Schools
We demand the divestment of funding from Richmond Police Department and the end of police services used to address social problems that police officers are not trained for nor equipped to address such as homelessness, mental health, poor education, domestic abuse, disputes between neighbors, addiction, sex trafficking, traffic infractions, etc.
- RPD should focus primarily on violent crimes.
- The remaining funds should be reallocated within the department to allow for increased investigation (Detectives, equipment, analysis) so that violent crimes are solved and not merely reported on after they occur.
- Police should not be called to participate in blight, parked cars, noise complaints, drug overdoses, mental health episodes, protests, public events, partner conflicts (depending on the level of violence), loitering, suspicious person, truancy, homelessness, public intoxication, neighborhood council meetings, and school sites.
We demand the demilitarization of law enforcement, including law enforcement in schools and on college campuses. This includes the elimination of all used, purchased, donated or grant-funded military equipment.
Prohibit the use of the tear gas, other chemicals, rubber coated bullets, flash grenades and other non-lethal “weapons” for crowd control.
We demand all people’s 1st Amendment Rights be upheld and non-violent protest be met with ONLY non-violence by Richmond Police.
Divest funds and equalize retirement packages for all municipal employees. Equity in retirement packages should:
- Eliminate 3% at 50 retirement program for current officers
- Reconsider overtime policies
- Reconsider other benefits
Reconstruct the reduced RPD budget based on the new strategic purpose of stopping violent crimes and cap the budget so that it can never exceed 25% of the General Fund Budget.
We demand that RPD is rebuilt without the Richmond Police Officers Association.
We demand the RPD Officers be required to intercede whenever they witness or have knowledge of any form of misconduct including excessive force by other officers. Officers must also be required to immediately report any misconduct or be charged as an accessory.
We demand the City support the elimination of the “Peace Officers Bill of Rights” state laws.
We demand repair for past and continuing harms caused by over-policing.
End White Fragility in Policing:
- Anyone who knowingly calls the police in order to use the Police as a weapon or physical threat against Black People or supporters of the Movement for Black Lives will have legal consequences for their actions. If a false acquisition is involved the incident would be charged as filing a false report and it would be processed as a hate crime.
We demand elected officials to recuse themselves from budgetary and other decisions involving RPD & RPOA if they receive financial or other contributions from RPOA.
We demand that elected officials refuse future contributions and independent expenditures from RPOA
We demand the expansion of the scope of the Police Commission to include all forms of excessive force, abuse, discrimination, and unprofessional conduct.
We demand the elimination of current Police Commission Model and adoption of a strong accountability model that expands powers of Richmond Police Commission to include:
- Authority to terminate the Police Chief
- Authority to discipline (up to termination) of any officers and or RPD employees
- Direct investigation by Police Commissioners of cases of abuse and unprofessional conduct.
- Authority to sit on personnel interview panels and other key hiring processes, or appoint a designee to said processes.
- Access to personnel records of all police department staff as a sitting commission member, or through a member’s appointed designee.
- Access to job candidates and candidates’ prior work-related histories including but not limited to previous police departments, law enforcement agencies, and criminal records including indictments.
End the racism and abuse of power of Contra Costa County Sheriff:
- We demand that Contra Costa County defund the Sheriff’s Department and Invest in healthcare, schools, and community services.
- We demand an end to money bail, mandatory fines, fees, court surcharges and “defendant funded” court proceedings.
- End School-to-Prison Pipeline
- We demand the removal of police from schools.
- We demand an end to zero-tolerance school policies and arrests of students.
- We demand the reallocation of funds from police and punitive school discipline practices to restorative services.
- We demand the establishment of a civilian oversight commission for the CCC Sheriff’s Department.
- We demand the separation of the Coroner’s Office from the Sheriff’s Office.
- We demand the closure of CCC Juvenile Hall.
R.D. Lopez/Shots from Richmond
Invest in Black Lives
We demand the reinvestment of divested funds to be used for creating and/ or funding agencies and initiatives that are specifically designed and resourced to deal with social issues that currently challenge our city such as homelessness, mental health, poor education, domestic abuse, disputes between neighbors, addiction, sex trafficking, etc.
We demand actions, policies and programs that protect and value Black lives and make racial equity a reality.
We demand a comprehensive study of the state of personal and community wealth of Black Richmond residents. Including an assessment of and any recommendations on how to address any issues facing the development of personal and collective wealth for Black Richmond residents.
We demand a complete assessment of the number and needs of Black-owned businesses in Richmond. Including an assessment of and any recommendations on how to address issues facing the development of Black owned businesses in Richmond.
We demand jobs for youth and young adults and targeted outreach to Black youth and young adults especially those transitioning out of foster care.
We demand high quality FREE / affordable and cultural component childcare for Black residents so parents can feel free to work without fear for the welfare of their children.
We demand access for Black Richmond residents, especially low income residents to City sponsored sources of capital, support and business opportunities so these communities can build wealth and self determination.
We demand that the City of Richmond include in its selection process the prioritizations of Black Richmond residents, especially low income residents, in the transfer or lease of City owned properties.
We demand reparations for the continuing reverberating economic impacts of over 200 years of enslavement, 1619 – 1865, which accounts for approximately 246 years of unpaid labor and back wages for hundreds of thousands of kidnapped and enslaved African people and their descendants who were born into captivity and forced to work to develop the agricultural and connected industrial wealth of their slave owners and the nation.
We also demand reparations for the loss of capitalization on that stolen wealth for the past 155 years since the end of legal slavery in the United States. We are the victims of a crime committed by the United States of America and as victims we demand reparations for the crimes committed against our families.
We also demand reparations for all Black peoples of African descent living in the United States who have been subjugated and victimized by systemic racism and white supremacy simply for the color of our skin even if they are not the descendants of the original Africans who were kidnapped from their villages and forced through the Middle Passage to these shores.
Social and Cultural Justice
We demand an African American Cultural and Wellness Center funded by RPD divestment funds.
We demand the creation of a Jazz and Blues Museum and Music School in North Richmond funded by County Sheriff and RPD divestment funds that uplifts the rich history of this artistic movement in North Richmond and gives black children a place to deeply engage in their own history and culture as well as a place to create new and innovative cultural expressions.
We demand divested funding to support, build, preserve, and restore cultural assets and Black History sites within Richmond and North Richmond to ensure the recognition and honoring of our collective struggles and triumphs of Black People in Richmond.
We demand funding for cultural assets and sacred sites such as Black houses of worship; meeting halls; and other significant institutions that speak to the triumphant quest of a determined people to create a new African community in this hostile land.
We demand that these Black sites within Richmond and North Richmond, be preserved as permanent memorials to continuously inform and inspire future generations of people of African descent about this legacy of trials, tribulations and triumphs, and to remind America of the white supremacist terror employed to obstruct the path to freedom of African Americans.
Housing is a Human Right: We demand safe, quality housing for ALL.
We demand investment in a comprehensive approach and remedy to houselessness that includes transitional housing, substance abuse and mental health services, access to safe mail, access to showers, safe storage of personal property and other resources needed to help people experiencing houselessness to establish a stable home.
We demand a comprehensive housing assessment of Black residents including homeownership, rental and displacement status.
We demand an end to the use of past criminal history to determine eligibility for housing, education, licenses, voting, loans, employment, and other services and needs.
We demand the source of income and fair tenant screening ordinances, be passed & actively enforced and education & outreach efforts be made to ensure tenants know their rights.
We demand the allocation of resources to fund more rental property inspectors to insure that rental properties are safe.
We demand the creation of a FREE programs to assist in Black homeownership and stabilize housing that are funded by local, state and national sources and anchored in the new African American Cultural Center.
We demand the development of a Reparations Fund that would help new homeowners with down payments and non-extractive financing of their 1st home.
The city’s budget is a representation of its values. Our demands are education reform that demonstrates value in our future, our children.
We demand high quality universal preschools for all.
We demand all teachers participate in mandatory anti-Black bias awareness training, including a data driven assessment of their own classroom disciplinary practices as a tool to improve their teaching practices.
We demand access to the future through digital technology and access for all students. This includes free wi-fi in every home with a student in pk-12.
We demand School Based Health Centers at all middle and high schools.
We demand smaller class sizes and teaching assistants for each class in primary schools.
We demand Black History education be mandatory in WCCUSD curriculum for ALL students and that Juneteenth’s history be included in WUCCUSD History Curriculum as a celebration of the abolition of slavery in the United States and was a turning point in US History that has had and continues to have deep impacts, recognized and unrecognized.
We demand free breakfast and lunch for all students with healthy fresh food, not industrial pre-packaged food.
We demand reparations for the cultural and educational exploitation, erasure, and extraction of our communities in the form of mandated public school curricula that critically examine the political, economic, and social impacts of colonialism and slavery. (Adopted from the Movement for Black Lives.)
- We demand complete open access for all public university, college and technical education programs (including technology, trade and agriculture) as well as full funding for lifelong learning programs that support communities and families.
- We demand tuition free access to California Colleges to all Black students to counter the generations of undereducation of Black students and lack of resources available to their families.
- We demand the forgiveness of all federal student loans. Policies shall apply to all and should focus on outreach to communities historically denied access to education including undocumented, incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people.
- We demand increased federal and state investments in all Historically Black Colleges (HBCUs).
- We demand programs to significantly increase Black educators and leaders in schools with significant Black populations. There is evidence of systematic bias in teacher expectations for African American students and evidence that non-black teachers were found to have lower expectations of black students than black teachers. Further, studies have shown that having just one Black teacher in elementary school not only makes Black and low-income children more likely to graduate high school, but it also makes them significantly more likely to enroll in college.
- We demand the government to partner with local businesses to create meaningful jobs for all high school and college students for summer and after school. We encourage job sites to create mentorship programs.
- We demand the return of arts, music and physical education in our schools.
We demand a comprehensive study of the health of Black populations living in Richmond’s fenceline communities that includes recommendations for ways to improve health outcomes. This study should identify environmental, economic and social drivers of poor health in the Black Community.
We demand resources for a holistic, culturally competent approach to health care for Black Communities that includes access to high quality universal health care.
We demand the reestablishment of a public West County public hospital and emergency room.
We demand doctors and nurses complete racial sensitivity training making them aware of their own biases that may stand in the way of them delivering just and equitable health care to Black People.
We demand the City allocate funds to increase community based access to whole, healthy foods, especially initiatives that support the development of black entrepreneurial and cooperative food access projects by and for black residents.
We demand investment in physical and mental health and safety of the aging Black populations in Richmond including additional in-home care support and investigators to stop elder abuse.
We demand that the city support and invest in existing and new programs that pair Black youth and adults of all ages with peer mentors to support their mental health, social and civic development.
We demand real, meaningful, and equitable universal health care that guarantees: proximity to nearby comprehensive health centers, culturally competent services for all people, specific services for queer, gender nonconforming, and trans people, full reproductive services, mental health services, paid parental leave, and comprehensive quality child and elder care.
We demand divestment from industrial multinational use of fossil fuels and investment in community- based sustainable energy solutions.
We demand a concerted effort to inform and engage black community members in learning about their vulnerabilities to climate change.