The Brief: 8 Can't Wait is a police reform program by Campaign Zero. It urges lawmakers to put eight policies into effect to reduce police brutality in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement.
On June 4, “8 Can’t Wait” posts began popping up on Instagram and Twitter. The campaign organized by activist group Campaign Zero is gathering support for their police reform program by encouraging social media activists to share their campaign online. According to Campaign Zero, once all eight policies are in effect, police brutality should decrease by 72%. They urge supporters to contact their mayors or sheriffs right now to let them know: “eight can’t wait.” This campaign was launched in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement after the deaths of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery came to light in May 2020.
The hasgtag #8CantWait has been used in over 24,000 posts on Instagram and is being pushed by A-list celebrities and activists like, Oprah, Lupita Nyong’o, Ariana Grande, Jack Dorsey, and activist Brittany Packnett on Twitter.
today campaign zero launched #8cantwait, a list of 8 policies to reduce police violence that can be changed immediately and save lives. please check out your city to see what can be done locally. https://t.co/my51Peynq2 pic.twitter.com/dtYv8luLTC
— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) June 3, 2020
Today, we launched #8cantwait.
Together, these 8 use of force policies decrease police violence by up to 70%.
No act of Congress or executive order needed. Mayors just need to do the right thing. Our lives are at stake.
Visit https://t.co/Kf7P35vAOO to demand action NOW ❤️✊🏾 pic.twitter.com/4NeVQh2vll
— brittany packnett cunningham does not do remixes. (@MsPackyetti) June 3, 2020
These polices include: required warning before shooting, exhausting all alternative before shooting, enacting duty to intervene, banning shooting at moving vehicles, establishing use of force continuum, and requiring all force be reported.
Campaign Zero’s website allows users to check how many of these policies are in effect in major cities across the United States. Los Angeles, CA has six out of eight in effect and New York is held to four out of eight in effect.
While many think #8CantWait is a step in a the right direction, there are many mixed reviews. Some don’t believe the steps are effective enough, like, twitter user @benwassertweet, who made his own similar campaign, called #8WontWork. It features “more ideas for police reform that will be as ineffective as anything proposed by 8 Can’t Wait.” It includes silly action items like, “ban chokeable necks” and “5 minute time outs.”
came up with more ideas for police reform that will be as ineffective as anything proposed by 8 Can't Wait pic.twitter.com/eK9Aj6KpMA
— ben wasserman (@benwassertweet) June 4, 2020
Others have taken a less humorous route to highlight the drawbacks of the 8 Can’t Wait campaign. Twitter user @aintacrow pointed out while Campaign Zero claims a 72% drop in police violence when all eight polices are in effect, that drop is seen when a department previously didn’t have any in place. At this time, many cities that already experience police violence already have some of these policies in place.
Please note the claim that it decreases police violence by 72% is only if the department has NONE of the policies and adopts all eight. D.C. has seven of these policies implemented already. NYC & Minneapolis already has four. Los Angeles and Oakland has five. Albuquerque has six. https://t.co/5R1t24BZhy
— Raven (@aintacrow) June 4, 2020
The campaign may be able to make some changed, but it appears more like a short-term, temporary fix to a problem that is rooted in far more than police violence, but systemic racism.