APD Bodycam Policy: The Justice Committee had been working with the ACLU of Alaska and other partners on reviewing and analyzing draft APD policy regarding implementation of body cameras. That effort has stalled, with the Municipal Administration apparently taking over review of the policy drafting. The bodycam working group has drafted a letter to the Public Safety Committee of the Anchorage Assembly requesting an update of the status of the implementation of bodycams for Anchorage Police. Currently it is unknown when, how or if body worn cameras will be utilized by APD. Stay tuned.
COVID in Alaska Jails and Prisons: The Justice Committee is organizing a project to inform those in the custody with accurate information regarding COVID-19. A committee chaired by Edwenia Brown and Rich Curtner will collaborate to create a COVID “tool-kit” for distribution to those who are incarcerated in Alaska jails and prisons. Let us know if you’re interested in being involved in this effort.
Redistricting Board: Every 10 years, after the Census is completed, each state must draft voter district maps for use for the next decade. Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 prohibits an electoral practice or procedure that minimizes or cancels out the voting strength of members of racial or language minority groups in the voting population. The current redistricting maps under consideration diminish the voting strength of BIPOC communities in Anchorage. The Alaska Black Caucus is joining as Amicus Curiae in litigation on the current redistricting map that impacts the voting rights of those in our communities. We will keep you posted.
Police in the Schools. The presence of police in public schools has become an issue nationwide. A documentary film called “On These Grounds” addresses this issue in the context of an incident in a South Carolina high school. That case received national attention when a video of a police officer pulling a Black teenager from her school desk and throwing her across the floor went viral.
ABC will be kicking off Black History Month by screening the film at the Bear Tooth Theater on February 7, 2022. Filmmakers and film participants will be joining us in the Community Conversation on February 6, 2022.