What is the purpose of protests?

OPINION 

By Motecuzoma Sanchez

March 9, 2017


I’ve had several conversations recently about “protestors”/police in Stockton with friends, associates, and media. Often times the true issues are lost in the foray. The motivations and purpose are purposely overlooked and discredited by the system protecting itself. For starters it should be understood that “protestors” don’t care what you think. They don’t seek the approval of those who are uninvolved, bench warmers, without empathy, work for the system, or socially acceptable/ palatable “activists” and “community leaders”. While everyone is entitled to their opinions (regardless of validity), here are a list of system changing accomplishments over the years directly resulting from their actions:
1) Body cameras. They are a direct result of protests and advocacy from protestors. 

2) Body camera policy and the recently revised camera policy instituted by chief Jones. 

3) A 120 day investigation completion timeline for officer involved shootings adopted by the district attorney. Prior to the new policy it literally took several years. 

4) Revised tactics by police and training such as “implicit bias” training, etc

5) Stockton being part of a national initiative to improve police community relations with the black and brown communities they have abused and disregarded since their inception (even though Stockton PD is failing miserably at it).

6) Untold lives saved and lawsuits averted as a result of the new trainings, public awareness and scrutiny, and officers knowing body cameras are on as well as citizens’ cell phones.

7) At least one corrupt cop fired and several more disciplined. 
Why do they continue?

Because there is much further to go including but not limited to: 

1) The abolishment of the police officer bill of rights that protects bad police 

2) Better community based policing 

3) “Justice” system reforms such as restorative rather than automatic punitive for profit justice.

4) Demographics of departments that actually reflect the community.

5) Better policies regarding body cameras and release of footage and radio dispatches. 

6) Change in department and industry culture.

7) Accountability for bad actors in the guise of public servants. 

8) Justice for affected families. 

9) Better community/police relations which contribute to safer communities.

10) Mandatory drug testing including for steroids which Stockton police officers were caught selling

11) Lives saved.

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