Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Michigan Greens Speak on Ferguson

The Michigan Green Party issued the following:

Ecological Wisdom      *  Social Justice
Grassroots Democracy  *  Non-Violence

Green Party of Michigan

**  News Release  **
**  ------------  **
  November 25, 2014

For More Information, Contact:
John Anthony La Pietra, GPMI Platform Committee Chair
    (269) 781-9478

Fred Vitale, GPMI Chair
    (313) 580-4905

Michigan Greens Speak on Ferguson
Join Family of Slain Teen in Urging Non-Violent Action
for Change in Missouri, Michigan, and Nationwide:
Elected Citizen Review Boards and Closer Monitoring

    The Green Party of Michigan (GPMI) is responding to
the non-indictment of Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson
in the shooting death of unarmed teen Michael Brown with
proposals to promote social justice -- in Missouri and
Michigan, and across the nation.

    GPMI joins the Brown family in calling for non-violent
action for change.  Non-violence is one of GPMI's most
important founding values, the Four Pillars.  The other
three Pillars are Social Justice, Grassroots Democracy,
and Ecological Wisdom.

    In particular, Michigan Greens add their voices to
the Brown family's call for body cameras as well as car
cameras to track the actions of all officers in the field.
This would help achieve the goal, stated in GPMI's 2014
platform, of "re-establishing democratic control of local
police forces."

    The platform also calls for "*elected Citizen Review
Boards* to oversee law enforcement, with the power to fire
police officers and start prosecution of criminal acts" --
and for putting proceeds of police seizures into governments'
general funds, to make sure police budgets are properly
controlled by the people's elected representatives.

    John Anthony La Pietra, GPMI Platform Committee chair
and the party's 2014 nominee for Attorney General, wants
to be sure independent cameras can "watch the watchmen".
He would urge repeal of any laws banning or discouraging
citizens from taking photos, audio, or video of police

    La Pietra notes that St. Louis County prosecutor Robert
McCulloch gave Wilson an extraordinary advantage.  "Grand
juries rarely hear evidence from a defendant's point of
view, and almost never from the defendant in person.  In
this case, Wilson apparently got to testify on his own
behalf for hours."

    Michigan Greens know the problem of police shootings
is hardly limited to Missouri.  Recent fatal incidents
closer to home include the cases of 7-year-old Alyana Jones
in Detroit and 43-year-old Aura Rosser in Ann Arbor.  And
the 2003 death of Terrance Shurn, caused by a police chase,
sparked unrest in Benton Harbor that is arguably linked to
that community's subjection to Michigan's controversial
emergency-manager law.

    Sherry Wells of Ferndale, Green candidate for the State
Board of Education, comments:  "It's bad enough that we have
a school-to-prison pipeline -- but for too many of our youth,
it's school to grave.  And even one is too many, whether by
police shootings or police car chases."

    GPMI Locals Liaison Lloyd Clarke of Bridgeport Township
believes that a law-enforcement officer who shoots and kills
an unarmed civilian, no matter what the excuse or reason,
should have to leave the job and not work in law enforcement
again.  "Killer cops should be purged from every police
department in the United States."

    One possibly hopeful sign is the Department of Justice's
ongoing investigation into whether Wilson violated Brown’s
civil rights.  The review is reportedly examining the Ferguson
Police Department's entire operations -- with a focus on how
officers use force and how they search and arrest suspects.

    La Pietra hopes that the DOJ investigation is thorough,
honest, and open -- "and above all, that it lives up to the
department's name:  Justice."

    The Brown family's written statement issued after Monday's
announcement that the grand jury did not indict Wilson can be
found here, among other places:

    The "Democracy and Human Rights" section of GPMI's 2014
platform is on line at

    For more information about the Green Party of Michigan,
its full platform, its candidates, and its values, visit:

You can also “like” the Green Party of Michigan US Facebook
page and follow GPMI's Twitter feed @MIGreenParty.

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created/distributed using donated labor

Green Party of Michigan
PO Box 504
Warren, MI  48090-0504

    GPMI was formed in 1987 to address environmental
issues in Michigan politics, and has been on the state
ballot continuously since 2000.  Greens are organized
in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.  Each
state Green Party sets its own goals and creates its
own structure, but US Greens agree on Ten Key Values:

    Ecological Wisdom
    Grassroots Democracy
    Social Justice
    Community Economics
    Respect for Diversity
    Personal/Global Responsibility
    Future Focus/Sustainability

For the latest news,
“like” the Green Party of Michigan US Facebook page --
and follow us at Twitter:  @MIGreenParty.