After a long public discussion at the last General Membership Meeting, GEO members voted to endorse the proposed Calvin Miller Solidarity Statement. The final draft of the statement is as follows:
The GEO stands in solidarity with Calvin Miller and other people who are targets of police violence or racial profiling in Champaign-Urbana. We call for the immediate creation of a permanent Civilian Review Board to investigate this case and future cases. This Board should not include any members of the police department and should have full investigative and subpoena powers. We condemn racism and race-based excessive force within the Champaign and Urbana police forces, and we demand equal protection and treatment. We recognize that these issues have a long history in this community and require long-term fundamental change. We stand for policies rooted in justice, peace, and equity, rather than excessive force and violent practice. Therefore we call for the following additional actions toward that end:
- The police department must listen to community input as the new police chief is selected.
- Champaign City Council meetings must remain public.
- We insist that Champaign and the University use their resources to fund economic development in poor neighborhoods and communities of color in Champaign-Urbana. In particular, we call for the continued full funding of programs such as the Summer Youth Employment Program to ensure that at least 150 Champaign students ages 14-18 can gain valuable job skills and build connections to employment opportunities in their local community.