The Oscar Grant Foundation was founded specifically to develop a Family First Responders Crisis Team. To bridge the gap between the extended family’s natural emotional response and that of objective caring and knowledgeable individuals who can make appropriate services and resources available to the families in need. To provide comfort, needs assessment, emergency counseling and resource referral information to assist the family through the initial aftermath of a traumatic event caused by violence and treatment for the emotional injuries sustained at the hands of law enforcement officers.
- To develop a Family First Responders Crisis Team
- To provide comfort to families
- To provide needs assessment
- To provide emergency counseling
- To provide resource referral information
- To assist the family through the initial aftermath of a traumatic event caused by gun violence
- To provide legal referral information
In an article appearing in the Emergency Medicine journal January 2009, it is written that a survey of a random sample of 300 U.S. emergency physicians revealed that virtually all the doctors said they believed that law enforcement officers use excessive force to arrest and detain suspect. Today, after the killing Oscar Grant III, the Bay Area community remains in a state of shock, anger and grief and is braced for the next incident, which could injure or take the life of one of our young people.
While there are efforts to assist businesses affected by the rebellious actions of protestors, little has been acknowledged about the damages and post-traumatic conditions suffered by families directly impacted by the killing of Oscar Grant III or a judicial killing in the community.
The town hall meeting held Saturday January 10, 2009 was an important step in the healing of a community and if continued can not only mobilize faith communities to insist on policy changes but also utilize its strength to put in place a communication system, a rapid-response rescue that much like disaster plans for catastrophic events that would provide assistance to victims of police violence and their families.
We recognize that police brutality threatens the physical, emotional and psychological health of victims and their families and should be addressed not only as an issue of social reforms, but also as one of public health. It is suggested that a framework for disaster response/relief be established as an ongoing function for healing and restoration of victims’ families and the community.
Due to the urgency of the need to assist families in crisis that fall victim to violence and particularly police violence, it is proposed that consideration be given to the development of a Family First Responders Crisis Team. These individual after training by spiritual leaders, psychological and social work counselors would be available on a 24 hour basis to provide comfort, needs assessment, emergency counseling and resource referral information to get the family through the initial aftermath of a traumatic event caused by violence and treatment for injuries sustained at the hands of law enforcement officers.
This much-needed service would bridge the gap between the extended family’s natural emotional response and that of objective caring and knowledgeable individuals who can make appropriate services and resources available to the families in need. Items for discussion must include the funding of the crisis response team and the identification of appropriate personnel to staff hot lines and agencies currently in existence that could provide services to families.
The issue of the police brutality is complex and how it disproportionately affects communities of color is and far-reaching and urgent. The long history of such atrocities has evolved into a chronic condition that requires more immediate and targeted response.