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Billie Eilish, Rihanna, Meek Mill

Billie Eilish, Rihanna, and more call for police reform in California

Megan Thee Stallion, Kehlani, and Meek Mill are also among those that signed a recent open letter supporting increased transparency and accountability

A new open letter advocating police reform in California has been signed by prominent figures across the music industry, including Billie Eilish, Rihanna, Grimes, and Megan Thee Stallion. In particular, the letter focuses on two bills – SB 776 and SB 731 – that address police transparency and accountability, which may be voted upon as soon as next week.

The letter, addressed in part to California Governor Gavin Newsom, explains: “SB 776 will establish the transparency and reporting needed to ensure that officers who engage in wrongful activity are removed – and kept – from these valued law enforcement positions.”

“SB 731 will implement an effective system to revoke an officer’s certification based on criminal conviction and certain acts of serious misconduct and will also reinstate the original objective of the Bane Act to properly protect the civil rights of all California citizens.”

In its appeal to Newsom, the letter also makes reference to the killing of George Floyd in police custody in May this year, and the subsequent Black Lives Matter protests that swept the US. “While the killing of George Floyd inspired sustained outrage, protests, and reporting, the people of California have long understood the need to properly address the actions and accountability of police,” it reads. 

“For too long, courts have undermined the intent of the State’s laws, allowing bad police officers to violate the rights of those they are meant to protect. In addition, a lack of transparency and a deficient recordation system has shielded officers who abuse their authority and tarnish the integrity of California’s law enforcement. We can fix this.”

“It may have taken the glare of a national spotlight to bring us to the threshold of change regarding abuse and injustice within law enforcement, but the moment is here.”

Kehlani, Meek Mill, Anderson .Paak, and Migos, as well as actors Sarah Paulson and Robert DeNiro, are also among the hundreds of music and entertainment stars to have signed the public letter.

Many of the letter’s signatories also pledged their support to the “George Floyd Justice in Policing Act” back in June, which similarly addressed a range of issues related to systemic racism and brutality in US police departments. Last night (August 19), Eilish also delivered a passionate anti-Trump speech at the Democratic National Convention, saying “Donald Trump is destroying our country and everything we care about” and urging people to vote.