Last week, a group of young activists spoke out at the county commission meeting about the 112% increase in Knox County’s police budget since 2003 and about how 287g (a cooperation agreement between ICE and the Knox County Sheriff´s Office) is funneling Knoxville´s undocumented community into federal concentration camps, thus ripping families and our community apart.
Not only were the cries for justice ignored, but Sheriff Spangler also had the activists kicked out of the meeting after they calmly approached him to ask some questions about this malicious 287g policy.
This Monday, July 22, at 5 PM, the County Commission will again meet and hold a public forum. This time, we are showing up and speaking out in bigger numbers. Here are our demands:
1. An immediate audit of the $93.5M police budget
2. A civilian oversight board for the Knox County Sheriff’s Office with the power to hold officers to account
3. A community-led budgeting process leading up to the next fiscal year
If you would like to make a public comment (up to 5 minutes), be sure to arrive a few minutes early to sign up to speak. We welcome comments of all types because we understand that the police state in Knoxville is harming so many communities in unique ways. We are showing up to stand in solidarity with our black neighbors who have been targeted by the police for generations. We raising our voices for our undocumented neighbors who must often stay silent to avoid being targeted for deportation. We are here to say HELL NO to mass incarceration and the prison industrial complex which is the 21st-century form of slavery.
Never again is NOW.