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center for civic & public policy improvement
Weekly Brief, May 5 2021
Focus: Safety & Criminal Justice

No Justice... No Peace...

George Floyd, father, brother, friend, and mentor, should be alive today. He should be coming to Houston, his hometown, to visit family, friends, and the Third Ward community. The collective breath held by the nation as we awaited the verdict in Derek Chauvins’ (the police officer who murdered George Floyd) trial, shows a broken system; one that does not hold police who choose to perpetrate violence against Black people accountable. On April 20, Derek Chauvin was found guilty of unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. The guilty verdict in Derek Chauvin’s trial is a step towards police accountability. Since Floyd's death, protestors across the country have cried out “No Justice...No Peace…” so while the verdict shows accountability, it is not justice, and certainly not peace for the Floyd family and the many across the U.S who have experienced police brutality or lost a loved one to police violence.

Families of Texans killed by the police hope the conviction in Derek Chauvin’s trial will help push forward The George Floyd Act: Police Use of Force and Accountability Omnibus Bill (HB 88). HB 88 was unveiled before the legislative session began in conjunction with George Floyd’s family, the Legislative Black Caucus, Chairwoman Senfronia Thompson, and Senator Royce West. The bill includes a range of reforms that will “prevent others from experiencing the police misconduct that George Floyd and other Black Texans have experienced.” HB 88 requires agencies to adopt de-escalation policies and removes qualified immunity for police officers which essentially shields officers from lawsuits (this provision that has faced the most resistance from police unions), among other changes to try and utilize policy to protect Black communities from violent and racist policing. According to a study by the UH Hobby School, the majority of Texans support The George Floyd Act. 

On March 25, HB 88 was heard by the Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee. There were many hours of powerful and brave testimony from those impacted by police brutality including families who have lost their loved ones to police killings and from advocates and legal experts who explained the racist history of our current policing systems with its violence rooted in slave patrols. While the omnibus bill (HB 88) itself is still pending in committee, three police accountability bills have passed in the last two weeks. Two bills require officers to intervene if another officer is using illegal force and to provide first aid/call an ambulance for anyone who is injured. Another restricts police chokeholds. 

What to do instead of calling the police: Click here to learn more about alternatives. 

Call to Action:

  Click here to contact members of the House Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee.

Incarcerated & Infected...

An Uprising at St. Louis City Justice Center in April 2021. Photo: Robert Cohen/AP.

COVID-19 has taken a devastating toll on incarcerated people in jails and prisons across the country. The physical environment in these institutions makes those confined within them more susceptible to the virus due to a lack of safety precautions, mask-wearing, and testing/contact tracing for staff. In addition, facilities are cramped and unsanitary and lack the ability to social distance. The mental health of people who are incarcerated has also drastically worsened during the pandemic due to isolation, solitary confinement for COVID symptoms, and lack of visitation from family. Death rates for those in U.S prisons are also much higher due to a lack of timely or quality health care. Multiple uprisings in protest of the conditions during the pandemic have occurred. 

According to Incarcerated and Infected, a recent report by the New York Times, 34 out of 100 people who are incarcerated across the country have contracted COVID-19, more than triple the rate of the general U.S population. And, these numbers are likely underreported due to a lack of testing in county, state, and federal facilities. Because Black Americans are overrepresented in the prison system (they make up 33% of inmates but just 13% of the U.S population), public health officials say they are more likely to be infected. 

Across the country it has become easier to access COVID vaccines, but not for those living within the world’s largest system of incarceration. According to research by The Marshall Project, less than 20% of prisoners in state and federal facilities have been vaccinated. Many people who are in prison deeply distrust the prison medical system and are hesitant to receive a vaccine due to misinformation from staff and/or previous experiences wherein they did not receive the care they needed.  In Texas, the first 600 incarcerated people to be vaccinated happened only by accident because of an issue with a freezer that contained vaccines for correctional officers. Another element impacting the rates in jails and prisons is the alarming number of corrections officers who are refusing vaccines, amplifying the public health crisis both inside and outside of the facilities. Read more here

Affordable Housing Progress...

St. Charles Place Apartments Now Preleasing 

The St. Charles Place Apartments is located at 3113 St. Charles Street at Elgin. They consist of 20 residential units including 2 studios, 2 one bedroom units designed for individuals who are mobility impaired, and 16 one bedroom units. 
Rents range from $600 to $975. Proof of income is required as there are maximum income restrictions for all households.
For more information please contact Stress Free Property Solutions at

Completion of the One Emancipation Center (Affordable Housing Operations Center) has an anticipated completion of April 2021. It is located at 3131 Emancipation Ave., Houston, TX 77004.
This five-story building will house CCPPI and other agencies dedicated to affordable housing development, advocacy, and economic growth of the community. Those interested in lease information, renderings, and marketing materials, please contact our commercial realtor partners Ed Ryland, ARVO or Chip Horne, Cushman & Wakefield. 

Check out our Social Media pages below for updates on CCPPI’s work, local advocacy efforts, and news stories on the topics of housing, healthcare, education, and criminal justice and safety. 

The Center for Civic and Public Policy Improvement is a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing policies that promote human, civic, social, and economic justice, and to taking the necessary action to affect progress in all areas of civic improvement throughout the culturally diverse communities
in the Southern United States.

Copyright © 2021 CCPPI, All rights reserved.

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