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Party for Socialism and Liberation calls for police reform

by Aliza Majid

The Party for Socialism and Liberation organized a rally on Sunday to call for change in the Police force after the death of Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old man who died after being beaten up by the Memphis police force in early January.

“We stand in solidarity with the family of Tyree Nichols who was murdered by police and to stand in solidarity with all of the people of Memphis who have been victimized and brutalized by the police,” Nino Brown, an organizer for the Party for Socialism and Liberation said.

The rally began at the Champaign County Courthouse and had demonstrators march to the Uraban Police department in order to demand changes in the city.

Organizers are now calling for action to be taken by the City of Urbana in order to add disciplinary measures to the 2023 to 2026 Police contracts and lighten restrictions on the Civilian Police Review Board.

“Currently in the police contract in Urbana, there are absolutely zero disciplinary measures of any kind included in their contract. That is extremely unusual. Both the Champaign police and the UIUC police have disciplinary measures,” Derik Briles an organizer for PSL said.

According to the new potential contract for police officers, there are no specific disciplinary measures addressing police misconduct directly.

There is an article explaining how officers are not required to be present at the CPRB meetings held by the city as their attendance is optional.

PSL members express their frustration with how the CPRB meetings are being treated by the Urbana Police Department and how this contract needs to change this issue.

“We want the power to hire, fire, and discipline police officers, because they're public servants, allegedly, right? If there are public servants, then they should be accountable to the public.” Brown said.

The Illinois Fraternal Order of the Police Labor Council has refrained from commenting on contract specifics.

Rob Scott, an Assistant States Attorney for the Illinois Fraternal Order of the Police Labor Council did say that “contracts generally do not change much from year to year.”

PSL has encouraged community members to attend the Urbana City Council Committee on Monday night in order to voice their concerns about the UPD contract.

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