On August 11, 2014 the full time day class of 2017 started at the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law. It was two days after the killing of Michael Brown, an unarmed African American teenager, by a white police officer in Ferguson Missouri. The tension in the room was palpable, but the soon to be lawyers were on their best behavior. The David A. Clarke School of Law is known as a proving ground for the nation’s most engaged and vocal social justice legal minds. Over the next few weeks, the conversation developed into further discussion about police interactions within the black community, structural racism and police misconduct throughout the nation. Recognizing the need for an organization to address the issues and concerns spoken of, and as part of the community service requirement for his Law and Justice Class, a law student who was a former police officer, led a group of students in creating a concept paper to encapsulate the ideas and goals of the organization. Jonathan Newton registered the legal entity of the National Association Against Police (NAAPB) in December of 2014.
In January 2015, the original concept paper was hosted on a website along with contact information and a link to a Facebook Page. Within a few days the phone rang with a person seeking assistance after an encounter with an unprofessional police officer. That sequence of events repeated itself over 260 times within the first 12 months of operation and over 800 times since December of 2014. Since then, NAAPB evolved from a small group of students who wanted to make policy suggestions into a community service organization dedicated to eliminating police brutality and reforming the criminal justice system through EDUCATION, EMPOWERMENT, AND ACCOUNTABILITY.
NAAPB accomplishes those goals by:
- Conducting seminars with citizens for advocacy of their civil rights.
- Providing information and materials for educating the public on civil rights.
- Assisting communities organize and mobilize to affect policy change.
- Assisting citizens get legal, spiritual and wellness assistance when victimized by police.