READ THE LIST OF 10 DEMANDS
Black Lives Matter activists in Juneau published a list of 10 demands of the City and Borough of Juneau Police Department, Juneau School District, and the State Department of Corrections — all to eliminate racism once and for all.
The group demands that Juneau establish a community oversight committee for the Juneau Police Department; the group would be involved in hiring, procedures, and even recertification of members of the 57-officer force. It is unclear how this would work, what with personnel laws on the books to protect public employees.
The second demand is that the city defund the “militarization of the police and reinvest that money into the resiliency of the community.” Although it’s not stated what the definition of militarization or resiliency is, militarization is typically understood as having armored vehicles, and what leftists call “assault rifles, submachine guns, flashbang grenades, grenade launchers, sniper rifles, and Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams.”
Chief Ed Mercer said the police force does have an incident command vehicle and other tools at its disposal, but said its specialized firearms obtained after 9-11 had already been replaced. He said most of the militarization people see in cities in the Lower 48 is not something they’ll ever see in Juneau.
The Black Lives Matter demands were taken up at a meeting of the City and Borough Assembly on June 8. Assembly members received the list of demands in advance, as did the chief of police.
It’s part of a national trend to defund or defame police departments.
In Anchorage, Assembly member Forrest Dunbar told the Public Safety Committee last week that he sees a need to reform the Anchorage Police Department, which prompted pushback from Chief Justin Doll:
“If we are having discussion about police reform, the term suggests that something is broken with the the department now. I don’t think there’s any information to support that.”
In Seattle, 900 air miles to the south, several Seattle City Council members have begun an inquest into the police department’s budget, with plans to defund some of the riot-response capabilities and redirect the money to community-based programs; some are calling on mayor Jenny Durben to resign. Rioting continues in that city and today the police have abandoned some of their precinct stations.
In Juneau, which has a police force of 57, the Black Lives Matter group demands that body cameras be worn and that officers who have domestic abuse charges not be allowed to carry weapons and “ultimately be fired.”
Chief Ed Mercer patiently explained to the Assembly on Monday that the rules around domestic violence and officers are very strict already and that body cameras are already in use.
Members of the Assembly then leaned on the chief to release the department’s “use of force” policy, but Mercer said that would have to be another, more private conversation. He wasn’t willing to release tactical details to members of the public Assembly, although three of them — Maria Gladziszewski, Carol Triem, and Rob Edwardson — pressed him hard.
“May I see the printed use of force policy?” Edwardson bluntly asked the chief.
After pausing, Mercer responded: “At this time, no. We are open to having a discussion with you as to how we proceed with that.”
Both Assembly members Gladziszewski and Triem jumped in to say they, too, want to see the “use-of-force” policy in writing, but the chief fended off their questions, saying that the policy is a tactical one that is in line with what is used around the nation.
Within minutes, leftist activists watching the meeting in Juneau had peppered the City and Borough of Juneau with public records requests demanding a copy of the use-of-force policy.
Council members Gladziszewski and Triem advanced some of the concepts from the Black Lives Matter group’s 10 demands, putting the police chief on the spot.
Mercer said that most of the demands were for things already being practiced by the department, such as the use of body cameras and racial sensitivity training. He was not inclined to release personnel records, as the group was demanding.
For the community in general, Black Lives Matter in Juneau demands that all persons of fair complexion must sit “with discomfort and examining your own privilege and using it to help. Ally-ship means that this is not about you and your peers. Ally-ship means taking real recognizable action-not sad faces on Social Media … Ally-ship means that the branding of movements is not yours to determine … Our movements can not be led by you … Ask for a seat at our tables, for a place in our movement for justice, and accept the answer. There is no us without us.”
The list of Black Lives Matter demands can be seen here, as well as on Facebook pages of various Juneauites: