Under mounting pressure from activists, Pete Buttigieg has unveiled a plan concerning criminal justice, police brutality, and systemic racism in the United States.
Buttigieg — who has served as the mayor of South Bend, Indiana since 2012 — introduced the policy proposals on Tuesday, The New York Times reports. The Democratic hopeful, who would be the first openly gay U.S. president if elected in 2020, hopes that these proposals would “dismantle racist structures and systems” in the federal government, if implemented.
While his plan addresses health, education, and voting rights reforms, the 2020 hopeful largely focuses on policing and criminal justice, two systems that disproportionately harm Black people in the U.S. According to the plan, Buttigieg wants to eliminate federal incarceration for drug possession, reduce sentences for other drug offenses, limit solitary confinement, abolish the death penalty, and end mandatory minimum sentencing. He also wants to create a federal database on police officers who were fired after killing someone, persuade states to disclose more data on the use of force and line-of-duty deaths, tighten legal standards on police officers using deadly force, and reduce the number of prisoners currently incarcerated by 50%.
The plan’s release follows weeks of mounting pressure from various groups, calling on the South Bend mayor to address state violence against Black Americans after a white police officer shot and killed an unarmed Black man in his hometown. In June, a group of trans-led activists disrupted a Buttigieg campaign stop in New York City to demand that he address police brutality and violence against trans women of color. He said that his team was working on a plan — this must be that plan.