Hollywood writer, director and activist Matthew Cooke has teamed up with civil rights lawyer Van Jones to teach us ‘How To Fire A Cop (and Change Everything).’
Police often close ranks when one of their own is accused of misconduct. Sometimes this closing of ranks happens over and over again, with the same violent officers at the heart of the controversy. In 1995, Van Jones started the Bay Area Police Watch in San Francisco. The idea was to take calls from citizens who have been abused by police. Jones would connect victims of police violence with attorneys in the Bay area, who would take their case. Jones advised that not every call about an officer would lead to something, but when you would get five or six calls about a single officer, he would then know the cop needed to be investigated.
The five point system to getting a cop fired is:
- Unearth as many lawsuits as possible;
- Share findings with the press;
- Pressure the Mayor relentlessly;
- Bring hundreds to public hearings;
- Never give up.
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