Music

Billie Eilish, Meek Mill, Anderson .Paak, And More Signed An Open Letter Calling For Police Reform

Billie Eilish, Meek Mill, Anderson .Paak, Leon Bridges, James Blake, and other names in the music, entertainment, sports industry have signed an open letter calling for police reforms in California. According to Pitchfork, the letter asks California Governor Gavin Newsom and state legislators to approve a pair of bills that aim to address reform on the state’s police force. The bills mentioned in the letter are SB 731 and SB 776. The former looks to create a system that would strip an officer of their certification based on serious misconduct or a criminal conviction. The latter seeks better transparency with the types of force police officers used in certain incidents.

“While the killing of George Floyd inspired sustained outrage, protests, and reporting, the people of California have long understood the need to properly address the actions and accountability of police,” the letter reads. “For too long, courts have undermined the intent of the State’s laws, allowing bad police officers to violate the rights of those they are meant to protect. In addition, a lack of transparency and a deficient recordation system has shielded officers who abuse their authority and tarnish the integrity of California’s law enforcement. We can fix this.”

The letter arrives two months after Billie Eilish and Meek Mill both signed another open letter, this one to the New York State government, calling for government leaders to repeal its statute 50-A, which concealed police officers’ personnel and disciplinary records from the public.

The entire letter can be read below:

Dear Governor Newsom, Speaker Rendon, Assembly Member Jones-Sawyer, and Assembly Member Cooley,

Occasionally, we are presented with an opportunity to make a genuine difference in the lives of millions. It may have taken the glare of a national spotlight to bring us to the threshold of change regarding abuse and injustice within law enforcement, but the moment is here. On behalf of all of us in the music and entertainment communities, we are asking you to seize that moment by passing Senate Bill 731 and Senate Bill 776.

While the killing of George Floyd inspired sustained outrage, protests, and reporting, the people of California have long understood the need to properly address the actions and accountability of police. For too long, courts have undermined the intent of the State’s laws, allowing bad police officers to violate the rights of those they are meant to protect. In addition, a lack of transparency and a deficient recordation system has shielded officers who abuse their authority and tarnish the integrity of California’s law enforcement. We can fix this.

SB 776 will establish the transparency and reporting needed to ensure that officers who engage in wrongful activity are removed – and kept – from these valued law enforcement positions. SB 731 will implement an effective system to revoke an officer’s certification based on criminal conviction and certain acts of serious misconduct and will also reinstate the original objective of the Bane Act to properly protect the civil rights of all California citizens.

Fixing the Bane Act will give closure and relief to families like that of 19-year-old Pedro Villanueva, an avid guitar player who was killed by police who fired indiscriminately from an unmarked car into his friend’s truck, in which he was a passenger. Families like that of Steven Schiltz, killed by police for holding a stick near a softball field after arriving to play a game. Families of Frankie Greer (military veteran and successful professional drummer), Luke Smith, Mauricio Barron, and to so many others who have faced – and will face – violations of their civil rights without any recourse.

These bills are meaningful responses to a critical problem and glaring inequity in our law, reflecting the Legislative Black Caucus’s efforts at reform. California is renowned for seizing those opportunities that make a genuine difference and must not abandon its stature here. We implore you to vote “Yes” on SB 731 and SB 776.

Meek Mill is a Warner Music artist. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.

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