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Michael Brown's Mother Has One Request. Here Are 5 Reasons Why We Should Honor It.

Michael Brown's parents have asked that every police officer working the streets in this country wear a body camera. Here are just five reasons why they're right:

Michael Brown's Mother Has One Request. Here Are 5 Reasons Why We Should Honor It.

1. On-body cameras lower citizen complaints and use of force by police.

Police taking action against Gazi Park protestors June 2013 in Istanbul, Turkey.


When police in Rialto, California, wore body cameras, citizen complaints dropped by 88%. Use of force by those officers declined by 59%. Police in Mesa, Arizona, tried them out too, and a one-year study found that in the first 8 months, officers without the cameras had almost 3 times the complaints as officers who wore them. Those who wore them had 40% fewer complaints than they did during the prior year when they weren't wearing cameras.

2. People don't trust the police.

In communities across the U.S., according to a recent poll, 50% of all people believe that law enforcement officers are not held accountable for misconduct. That number rises when you look specifically at a community of color: 64% for Hispanics and 66% for African-Americans.

This same study revealed that 88% of people support recording the police.

3. Police chiefs think body cameras are a good idea.

Police executives interviewed for a study by a nonprofit research group overwhelmingly agreed that body-worn cameras reduce complaints against officers and approve of them for that reason. “We actually encourage our officers to let people know that theyare recording,” said Police Chief Ken Miller of Greensboro, North Carolina. “Why? Because we think that it elevates behavioron both sides of the camera.”

4. And so does the ACLU.

Although the American Civil Liberties Union generally takes a "dim view" of more surveillance of American life, they think police on-body cameras are different because of their potential to check the abuse of power by police officers. In their words:

"When cameras primarily serve the function of allowing public monitoring of the government instead of the other way around, we generally regard that as a good thing. ... Overall, we think they can be a win-win — but only if they are deployed within a framework of strong policies to ensure they protect the public without becoming yet another system for routine surveillance of the public."

5. Too many lives have been lost due to too little accountability. Body cameras would help change that.

Here are just a few names of the hundreds and hundreds of men, many of them young and the majority of them of color, who have recently lost their lives at the hands of police and where no accountability was found:

Tamir Rice, Cleveland, Ohio, November 2014

Ezell Ford, Los Angeles, August 2014

Michael Brown, Ferguson, Missouri, August 2014

John Crawford, Beaverford, Ohio, August 2014

Akai Gurley, Brooklyn, New York, November 2014

Levar Jones, Columbia, South Carolina, November 2014

Eric Garner, Staten Island, New York, July 2014

Trayvon Martin, Sanford, Florida, February 2012

Kimani Gary, Brooklyn, New York, March 2013

Kendrec McDade, Pasadena, California, March 2012

Timothy Russell, Cleveland, Ohio, December 2012

Ervin Jefferson, Atlanta, Georgia, March 2012

Amadou Diallo, New York City, February 1999

and many others...

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
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Increasingly customers are looking for more conscious shopping options. According to a Nielsen survey in 2018, nearly half (48%) of U.S. consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.

But while many consumers are interested in spending their money on products that are more sustainable, few actually follow through. An article in the 2019 issue of Harvard Business Review revealed that 65% of consumers said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, but only about 26% actually do so. It's unclear where this intention gap comes from, but thankfully it's getting more convenient to shop sustainably from many of the retailers you already support.

Amazon recently introduced Climate Pledge Friendly, "a new program to help make it easy for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products." When you're browsing Amazon, a Climate Pledge Friendly label will appear on more than 45,000 products to signify they have one or more different sustainability certifications which "help preserve the natural world, reducing the carbon footprint of shipments to customers," according to the online retailer.

Amazon

In order to distinguish more sustainable products, the program partnered with a wide range of external certifications, including governmental agencies, non-profits, and independent laboratories, all of which have a focus on preserving the natural world.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.