CUAPB takes on police brutality in a number of ways.
Advocacy: CUAPB provides assistance to individuals and families dealing with the effects of police brutality. We offer a 24-hour crisis line (612-874-STOP) that people can call to report instances of abuse. We can send out a crisis team to investigate the complaint, take photos and statements and offer immediate assistance. We follow up with legal, medical and psychological referrals and other services as needed. We work to influence media coverage so that survivors and family members have their stories told. We bring together families and survivors in a local network to provide ongoing support and empowerment for people suffering from their encounter with police brutality.
While these services are a key way people come in contact with CUAPB, we always make it clear that we are about social justice, not social services. We ask those who have been helped by the organization to attend meetings and become involved in helping others secure justice and in our other work. In this way, not only do we help those affected by police brutality regain their sense of personal power but we build a powerful and lasting movement.
Political Action: CUAPB routinely wages battles in the political and legal arenas to bring about changes in laws, policies and practices that reduce accountability and allow police brutality to occur. We hold rallies and protests to demand justice in particular cases. In addition, we operate copwatch and courtwatch programs to bring accountability directly to the institutions most responsible for brutality and injustice.
We are currently working to get a charter amendment on the ballot that would require Minneapolis police officers to carry their own professional liability insurance. If successful, police officers who engage in misconduct would see their premiums increase and some would eventually become uninsurable and be off the force. This is an extensive, multiyear project that will have a powerful impact on addressing the underlying causes of police brutality. For more information on this effort, see Committee for Professional Policing.
Education: CUAPB provides a number of educational programs to inform the community about police brutality and justice system issues. Our Know Your Rights training arms the community with tools to interact safely with law enforcement officers while asserting their rights. Our copwatch training empowers people to provide oversight in their own neighborhoods.