Today, the Maine Democratic Party announced the adoption of a new resolution condemning police brutality and systemic racism and calling for significant and immediate action to end these systems of oppression. The resolution comes in the wake of the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, which sparked protests around this country, including here in Maine, and have encouraged hundreds of thousands of Americans to speak out against racism in American policing.

The resolution condemns all acts of police brutality and racial profiling by police officers. It also calls for several specific actions to be taken to immediately address police brutality both in Maine and across the country, including supporting efforts to eliminate excessive use of force and hold individual officers and police departments accountable, establish independent review boards to investigate police misconduct, and calls for the end of militarized policing practices. This resolution is a first measure in the Maine Democratic Party’s support for efforts to fight injustice and support communities who have been fighting systemic racism in our institutions for generations.

The resolution was approved and adopted by the Maine Democratic State Committee on June 7, 2020. You can read the full text here, as well as below.

Maine Democratic Party Resolution on Police Brutality

Whereas the system of policing in America both historically and at present includes systemic targeting and use of deadly and brutal force against people of color, particularly Black people, resulting in people of color being killed by police at disproportionately higher rates than their White peers; 

Whereas police in the United States kill far more people than police in other comparable nations and have been historically shielded from accountability; 

Whereas contemporary policing for low-level offenses, as well as expanded and excessively militarized policing, has led to mass criminalization and mass incarceration that disproportionately impacts Black and Brown people, as well as other marginalized communities; 

Whereas data shows there is a direct correlation between the increased militarization of a police department and corresponding levels of police brutality; 

Whereas police brutality and the use of excessive force robs countless communities of precious lives, inflicts inter-generational trauma to families, and are intensifying our nation’s mental health crisis;  

Now, therefore, be it Resolved, that the Maine Democratic Party 

(1) condemns all acts of brutality, racial profiling, and the use of excessive force by law enforcement officers; 

(2) supports strengthening efforts to eliminate excessive use of force and hold individual law enforcement officers and police departments accountable, by bringing suits against offending officers and departments and challenging decisions that permit unreasonable and excessive police practices; conducting meaningful oversight of consent decrees; and establishing independent all-civilian review boards with the authority to effectively investigate incidents of police misconduct; 

(3) calls for the end of militarized policing practices, and for the adoption of sound and unbiased law enforcement policies at all levels of government, both local and national, that will reduce the disparate impact of police brutality and use of force on Black and Brown people and other marginalized communities; and 

(4) will back up our words with action and engage in a timely manner in such efforts as are necessary to demonstrate that the Maine Democratic Party unequivocally believes that Black lives matter.