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ACLU recommends furthering reform proposals

Delaware News Desk
Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times
Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times

The American Civil Liberties Union of Delaware is calling on state and local officials to embolden proposed reforms.

In a statement from Executive Director Mike Brickner on Wednesday, June 10, the ACLU thanked the Delaware Legislative Caucus and Attorney General Kathy Jennings for proposing an initial set of reforms "to address systemic oppression and violence inherent in Delaware’s policing system."

"We hope that the mass outrage and cries for justice occasioned by the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery will echo in the minds of our elected officials long enough to bring about transformational change and not mere platitudes and symbolic changes," Brickner said.

He called on leaders to further their proposed reforms by: 

  • Investing in black and brown communities by diverting funding from the police, instead using that money for schools, fair housing, access to health care, economic opportunity and other worthwhile community programs.

  • Considering the harm inflicted on entire communities by aggressive policing tactics of units like Operation Safe Streets and the Governor's Task Force.

  • Reforming probation so that its purpose is to support successful reentry and rehabilitation rather than to heap hurdles in the path of a return to an existence uncontrolled by the justice system.

  • Ending the use of police in schools and instead investing in more counselors and advocates trained to assist youth who have experienced trauma and those with disabilities.

  • Investing in data collection and publication on policing practices, including stops, arrests, fines, fees, use of force and civil forfeitures.

"We cannot meaningfully reform that which we do not fully understand," Brickner said.