The Policing Project at Civil Rights Corps (“CRC”) works to hold police accountable for abusive conduct while building shared community and power among legal advocates, community organizers, and survivors. This work began in 2020, when CRC and Advancement Project (“AP”) convened a coalition of stakeholders to imagine a hyper-local model for shrinking police power and harm. We asked, “What would our communities look like if the extensive resources of the legal profession were in the hands of (and were being directed by) impacted people?” The result was a model designed to tap the enormous potential of attorneys and organizers working in tandem on numerous fronts: building community campaigns, pursuing strategic litigation, and changing the public narrative around policing.
With the coalition’s core values, strategies, and tactics as a foundation, CRC and AP partnered with local organizers to launch two pilot projects in Houston, Texas and Washington, D.C. While AP has taken the lead in DC, CRC has spent the past two years building the Houston Police Accountability Collaborative with our community organizing partner, Pure Justice.