This Oakland, California organization aims to eradicate police led violence against the oppressed
The Anti Police-Terror Project is a group of concerned and committed institutions, organizations, and individuals dedicated to ending state-sanctioned murder and violence perpetuated against black, brown and poor people. We are a black-led, multiracial, multi-generational coalition. Join us as we organize to resist police terror and create a strong and sustainable community support system.
The Anti Police-Terror Project: Who we are
The Anti Police-Terror Project (APTP) was born in the summer of 2014 as a project of the ONYX Organizing Committee with the mission of creating a replicable and sustainable model to eradicate police terror in communities of color. Police violence disproportionately impacts communities of color. For these reasons, the Anti-Police Terror Project is black-led and has a specific focus on other oppressed nationalities who are also impacted by police violence.
Since its genesis, APTP has evolved into a coalition of individuals and organizations who work in committee form to address instances of police violence in Oakland, California. APTP works in close partnership with other black-led organizations and leaders in the bay area, including but not limited to: Black Lives Matter-Bay Area, the BlackOut Collective, Black Seed, the Idriss Stelley Foundation, and the Black Psychologists Association of the bay area. Through empowerment, these communities are equipped to identify community-based solutions to police violence that liberation can be achieved.
The APTP's Black Leadership Committee meets once per week, the Coordinating Committee (made up of Chairs of 6 operating committees) meets once per week, and the APTP's general meetings are held the 3rd Wednesday of every month. Community attendance at general meetings is between 60-100 people each meeting. In order to work effectively and maximize our capacity, APTP works by committee.
The Anti-Police Terror Project: What we do
Oakland communities face the ongoing stress of being violently policed. Oakland Police Department (OPD) and other local law enforcement agencies utilize military-grade weapons and accessories in civilian engagements, engage in excessive use of force and deny the public transparent access to investigations after an Officer Involved Shooting (OIS). When we consider families dealing with the loss of a loved one at the hands of law enforcement, they face not only the grief, but numerous additional stressors related to police violence.
Some of these stressors are due to the internal policies and trainings in OPD and other law enforcement agencies (e.g. use of force policies, internal rather than external investigations of OIS). While other stressors are due to financial strain, and the inability to access funds for things like burials; especially in light of the fact that policies governing victims fund compensation do not include victims of state violence. Further, OPD and other local law enforcement have consistently denied grieving families the courtesy and respect of transparency around the investigation; often withholding video and audiotapes of the incident, which compounds the families’ grief and leaves them questioning how their loved one died.
Our First Responders Team (FRT) is a crew of therapists, activists and organizers who go to a scene immediately following an Officer Involved Shooting (OIS). FRT collects witness testimony, takes photographs and launches a people’s investigation. Once connected with the family, the FRT initiates fundraising efforts for burial or independent tests, connects the family to pro bono legal support and engages in long-term campaign work to support familial efforts toward “justice”.
The FRT is made of up individuals with diverse backgrounds. The team includes: long-time Oakland residents, members of diverse ethnicities, including black, mexican, arab, Southeast Asian, Eastern European and white. There is diversity in the professional backgrounds of the team as well, including lawyers, psychologists and other mental health workers, engineers, educators, and film-makers.
We are also building up our policy team through activities around five targeted foci aimed at reducing the barriers to justice that families currently face:
- Demilitarization. Ban the use of military weapons and accessories in civilian engagements.
- Transparency. Immediate release of body cam and other surveillance footage to families and community.
- Victim Compensation. Currently victims of state violence cannot apply for victims fund compensation. We want to change that.
- Outside Independent Investigations. Neither the local district attorney (DA) nor neighboring police departments should be investigating OIS's.
- Transforming Use of Force. We believe that Oakland could be a national model for evolving the conversation around use of force and really challenging the notion that a police officer’s only option in a situation where they feel "threatened" is killing the threat. We believe this rests not only in changing internal departmental attitudes, but also revisiting policies like training officers to shoot multiple times at center mass.
The Anti Police-Terror Project: Our achievements
Multiple strategies have been effective so far in our work towards our goals and objectives. We continue to utilize these strategies, that include:
- Committee-based work-groups that divide work, hold each other accountable for completing work and provide within-group support to addressing barriers that slow down our work
- Networking with professionals, activists, therapists, healers, and others that will provide pro bono services to families of those killed in OIS, and training to FRT
- Weekly, bi-weekly and monthly meetings to provide status updates, strategize and engage in planning for upcoming work, projects, action and the like
- Coalition building across groups of individuals, institutions and organizations that are concerned with police terror and the impact on families and friends of those lost to OIS
- Effective media engagement to bring awareness to the scope of the problem and community-driven solutions
- Direct engagement in city council meetings to let policy-makers know our concerns and ways to protect community
- Direct actions that draw attention to the problem and clearly lists demands
- Grassroots organizing among communities most affected by police violence