June 6, 2011

Peoples' Justice Launches Outreach and Ad Campaign to Encourage Cop Watch and Education About New Yorkers' Rights

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The NYC-wide coalition, Peoples' Justice for Community Control and Police Accountability(PJ), has launched an outreach campaign encouraging community-based organizing to prevent police violence in Washington Heights, Bedford-Stuyvesant, and Bushwick. The components of the campaign include billboard advertisements encouraging residents to get involved with Cop Watch, as well as a series of murals aimed at educating community members about their rights when confronted by law enforcement officers.

The billboard ads feature a silhouette image of police violence being observed and documented by community-empowered residents armed with video cameras and cellular phones. The intention of the ads is to inform community residents that observing police activity is legal and can help in deterring abuse, as well as provide critical evidence in cases of police brutality. The ads are also meant to generate interest in forming coordinated Cop Watch teams of residents from neighborhoods that see disproportionate levels of police violence.

"Cop Watch provides community members with a way to use their legal rights to observe and record police activities and hold law enforcement accountable," says Yul-san Liem, a representative of Peoples' Justice. "Too often in low-income communities of color, the police think they can act with impunity and abuse their power by perpetrating verbal, physical and sexual violence against community members, without legal cause. Peoples' Justice is asking New Yorkers to stand up and help turn this around by exercising their legal right to organize and watch the police." Peoples' Justice offers Cop Watch and Know Your Rights Trainings to groups interested in starting Cop Watch teams in their neighborhoods.

About Peoples' Justice for Community Control and Police Accountability: Peoples' Justice is a coalition of NYC-based grassroots organizations that have joined forces towin community control and police accountability.
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