What are charities that fight police brutality I can donate to?
December 5, 2014 11:47 AM   Subscribe

The recent events in Ferguson and most recently around Eric Garner in NYC where I live have really hit me and I'd like to donate to make a difference.

What are non-profit organizations that advocate for police accountability, fight against police brutality and racism, the militarization of the the police, and support the victims of these cases?

Southern Poverty Law Center comes to mind is that the best organization that specifically address police brutality and racial profiling? Both US and Canadian suggestions welcome!
posted by artificialard to Law & Government (17 answers total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
I'd suggest the ACLU.
posted by bearwife at 11:48 AM on December 5, 2014 [5 favorites]

You can also donate to individuals who are affected, like the family of Tamir Rice. The biggies like SPLC and the ACLU, while worthy causes, also have multi-million-dollar budgets, and your small donation will make less of an impact.
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:50 AM on December 5, 2014

Seconding the ACLU, they work tirelessly on this and related issues such as inhumane conditions in prisons.
posted by drjimmy11 at 11:51 AM on December 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

This is more about fighting police and justice system injustice, but Friends of Justice focuses primarily on the injustices created by the war on drugs. It looks not just at physical brutality but also the kinds of things that bring about mass incarceration. They are religiously-based. I don't know if that's a feature or a bug for you.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 11:58 AM on December 5, 2014

The National Lawyers Guild runs the National Police Accountability Project (NPAP) which seems to be exactly the sort of work that you are describing.
posted by andoatnp at 12:01 PM on December 5, 2014 [6 favorites]

If you donate to the ACLU (which I personally support) I suggest donating directly to a specific chapter. Money still goes to the National office but IIRC (I'm a former ACLU dev person) it works out better that way for the chapter for either financial and/or logistical/paperwork reasons.
posted by Room 641-A at 12:13 PM on December 5, 2014

The National Lawyers Guild also has observers at the marches, keeping very good notes and sharing them when protestors are arrested/subsequently prosecuted. And, I should add, often leading defense efforts for protestors.
posted by crush-onastick at 12:16 PM on December 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

Regarding crush-onastick's answer, the specific National Lawyers Guild committee you are looking for is the Mass Defense Committee. They do amazing work and are actively sending observers to the ongoing protests and provide legal representation to people who are arrested.

You can also join the NLG if you want to get more involved, as they have a specific membership category for non-lawyers (called "legal worker").
posted by andoatnp at 12:27 PM on December 5, 2014 [4 favorites]

The ACLU is getting matched donations for the month of December, so right now is an especially good time to donate.
posted by Librarypt at 12:28 PM on December 5, 2014

Oh, and you can also specify that your ACLU donation be earmarked for a particular project or campaign.
posted by Room 641-A at 12:33 PM on December 5, 2014

If you want to support the local National Lawyers Guild chapter—from which all of the legal observers you see on the streets of NYC come, and whose number is written on demonstrators' arms—go here. Also consider the Center for Constitutional Rights, which lead the litigation challenging the NYPD's stop and frisk policies and continues to do wonderful work.
posted by amicus at 1:01 PM on December 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

PINAC They were where I read about the Garner story days before it caught traction anywhere else.
posted by cjorgensen at 1:53 PM on December 5, 2014

I saw a sticker the other day and it said "Police the police" and advocated that people should film the cops any time they get a chance. The sticker was defaced and the URL on the bottom was gone. But, based on that, I did a bit of searching and found the following three websites. The last one does have a donate button. I did not immediately see such on the first two:

posted by Michele in California at 2:10 PM on December 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

If you choose to donate to ACLU you might consider doing it anonymously. I donated and have never been so ridiculously inundated with requests.
posted by InkaLomax at 4:00 PM on December 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

Definitely the Center for Constitutional Rights, as mentioned above, as well as the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund.
posted by cushie at 7:29 PM on December 5, 2014 [3 favorites]

There are many different issues here : victims aid and defense, legal groups like the ACLU, and advocacy groups.

We all know legal groups like the ACLU, EFF, and NAACP are extremely important, please give any you identify with some money if you can, especially the ACLU.

Internet based advocacy groups like the ones MiC mentioned help raise awareness of police misconduct. I believe they're extremely important in creating a common cause across racial and political lines and giving protestors in places like Ferguson a voice.

Internet groups are inexpensive compared to lawyers, so it's maybe more important that you occasionally repost them on facebook, twitter, etc. than that you give them money.

Filming Cops has relatively good coverage, they accept PayPal and BitCoin donations.

Cop Block is a large groups, with many local chapters, one of whom you could probably meet in person and determine if they've specific needs. Face-to-face meetings can be quite valuable when you're trying to determine how involved you want to be.

Actually Cop Block has like ten affiliated organizations in NY state, several in NYC, probably because the NYPD are soo incredibly brutal and corrupt, maybe follow some online and then meet a couple groups that seem most interesting.
posted by jeffburdges at 6:49 AM on December 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'm considering donating to the Southern Poverty Law Center, because they do awesome work. However, a quick peek at their financials showed that less than 70% of their budget goes to projects - they have a pretty high fundraising overhead. That might be enough to put me off.

SPLC financials page
Charity Navigator
posted by momus_window at 1:21 PM on December 6, 2014

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