Community Control Over Police Working Group


m-adams-ccopThe Community Control Over Police Working Group is comprised of individuals and organizations engaged in campaigns for Community Control Over Police, as detailed in Community Control Over Police: A Proposition.

Community Control Over Police is both a principle of democratic self-determination and an objective of a social movement determined to end abusive practices that are inevitable in the context of colonial domination. However, while most support the concept of local democratic rule, that abstract idea must be converted into concrete proposals around which the Black community, and the broader social justice movement, can coalesce.

The drive towards Community Control over Police begins by organizing the target city (county or town) into clearly identified policing districts. These districts can be identical to existing commission districts, wards or other political boundaries, or can be drawn up entirely from scratch. The districts should be physically, economically and socially contiguous, enabling Black communities to have their own policing district or districts.

Once each district is delineated, the next phase is to launch a Community Control over Police ballot initiative, wherein each policing district faces a choice: keep their existing police department or start their own. While the rules for launching a ballot initiative differs from one locale to the next, the overall objective is the same in that each community or section of the city has the right to vote for the police department they want.

The process is identical to voting for commissioners, council members or alderpersons for single member districts. Voters in each district receive unique ballots that apply only to their district. Residents of District 1, for example, have no say in the determination of residents in District 5. Residents of the two districts can reach identical or opposing conclusions and one will have no impact on the other.

Do you like how your local police treat you and your neighbors? Vote to keep them. Do you think the police are unfair to you and your neighbors? Vote them out. Both voices can prevail without infringing upon the aspirations of the other.


To be clear, this vote is not for 'community policing' or a civilian 'oversight board' with the power to review investigations conducted by the police department on itself. The vote is not even to take control over an existing police department, but to establish a new one. No colony seeks control over the occupying army, they pursue an end to colonialism and realization of self-rule. In this instance, the vote is to establish a Civilian Police Control Board.

The Community Control over Police (CCOP) Working Group emerged from the US Human Rights Network 2018 FIHRE retreat in Georgia.

Community Control and Human Rights

While community control, as described here, is not required by human rights theory or laws, it is completely consistent with the same. All people, individually and collectively, are endowed with the human right to prior informed consent when subject to government actions, including the patrol of armed government agents in our communities. In addition, the collective human right to self-determination allows peoples to decide for themselves the means through which their communities are protected.