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10 Arrested as Movement For Black Lives Takes on Police Unions

Racial justice groups launch protest actions to demand accountability for police violence

Kenrya Rankin Jul 20

Update, July 20, 2016, 2:01 p.m. ET:

Ten activists were arrested at the action in New York City. Their charges and bond amounts have not yet been released, but a bail fund has been set up here.

While the nation continues to grapple with the fallout of police violence, three of the organizations that make up the Movement for Black Lives have just launched protest actions aimed at the law enforcement industry groups that they feel make it nearly impossible to hold officers accountable for violence enacted on the bodies of Black citizens.

In Washington, D.C. this morning (July 20), members of Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100) and Black Lives Matter-DC (BLM-DC) have assembled outside the legislative office of the national Fraternal Order of Police (FOP). Activists are demanding that officers who are interested in justice stop paying dues to the FOP; they are in hour three of the action.

“By protecting the worst among them and ardently opposing legislation that promotes police transparency and accountability, the FOP has affirmed that they are more interested in maintaining a corrupt culture of policing than ensuring public safety,” April Goggans of BLM-DC said in a press release sent to Colorlines. “This is why we are calling for all police officers to disavow their ties to the FOP by refusing to continue to fund this nefarious organization. Who do police officers call after they maim or murder civilians? The FOP. It’s their support that keeps justice from being served.”

In New York City, BYP100 NYC joined with Million Hoodies NYC for a related shutdown of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association headquarters. Protestors are calling for Wayne Isaacs—the off-duty officer who killed Delrawn Small on July 4—to be be fired. The action also aims to call attention to how elected officials allocate money and how that funding impacts citizens. From a statement emailed to Colorlines:
 
Billions of dollars are spent on failed policing strategies, while U.S. education, health and housing crumbles; prisons are growing while earning opportunities dwindle. At the federal level, criminally negligent police departments continue to receive billions in grants and funding (JAG, COPS & VOCA), when instead those dollars could be poured into our nation’s school system, community health care systems and alternative strategies that keep people safe. Everyday elected officials refuse to act, Black lives are put at risk.
 
The two actions act just the first two of several protests planned for today and tomorrow (July 21) under the banner #FreedomNow. Click here for details on dozens of protests, including events in Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis, Chattanooga, Long Beach and Cleveland.
 
This article originally appeared at ColorLines.com.

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