We have an opportunity and a responsibility to reimagine the role of police in our communities. Through thoughtful, evidence-driven reforms, we can advance racial justice across the state and enable everyone who calls Vermont home to feel safer.
It's past time to end the disparate, ineffective and violent policing of communities of color, and the surveillance, targeting and harassment of Black and Brown people. We must stop relying on police to respond to issues related to poverty and disinvestment, which leads to more frequent, unnecessary and aggressive actions by law enforcement toward community members. It's time for us to reimagine the role of police to be far narrower, while investing in supportive, community-based solutions for public safety independent of the criminal legal system.
Police shouldn't lie to kids—or to anyone
Deceptive police interrogation techniques lead to false confessions. Proposed legislation called S.6 would prevent police from using deceptive and coercive interrogation methods on young people in Vermont, as youth are especially susceptiple to coercion--three times more likely than adults to make a false confession. We are advocating for the expansion of this bill to prohibit the use of these unjust tactics in all interrogations—regardless of a person’s age.
Contact your legislator about S.6.
Cops should not lie to the people who are in their custody, and they should not rely on dishonesty and manipulation in interrogations. We hope that Vermont will end the use of deceptive and coercive tactics in policing—for both youth and adults—and we see S.6 as an important step towards this goal. Contact your legislator today and urge them to vote yes on S.6. Learn more here.
Vermonters are over policed—especially people of color
Police traffic stop data shows that Vermont drivers are overpoliced, and Black and Brown Vermonters are disproportionately targeted. H.176 would help to change that.
Urge your legislator to pass H.176
Passing a bill called H.176 would end unnecessary traffic stops in Vermont by limiting law enforcement’s ability to pull over drivers for “non-public safety” reasons—minor vehicle infractions such as an expired registration, obstructed license plate, or broken taillight. Placing stronger limits on the broad authority we have ceded to our law enforcement agencies—particularly in policing our roadways—can be one of the most direct ways to further racial justice and equity in our state.
Make your voice heard by urging your elected representatives to vote YES on H.176, which would curb unnecessary traffic stops in Vermont.
True public safety requires police oversight
As the legislature moves to once again take up some of these necessary police reforms in the 2023 legislative session, community oversight boards represent one of the most promising opportunities to build accountability and trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve.
As introduced, S.75 would remove a major hurdle to meaningful community oversight of police by authorizing municipalities to create civilian oversight boards without undergoing a charter change. The bill would empower these boards to receive, investigate, and adjudicate complaints of misconduct against law enforcement officers, and grant them appropriate disciplinary power.