Hanifa Shabazz

Candidate for City Council President

Responses to Wilmington Police Reform Survey

Will you vote to make all police disciplinary records public, and push for changes in state law necessary to make that possible?

No, not all Police disciplinary records should be made public, but I do support transparency to make all Police disciplinary records open to a Police and Civilian Review Board made up of Citizens and Police Administration with enforcement power.

Will you vote for an ordinance prohibiting Wilmington police from engaging in civil asset forfeiture?

Yes, Civil Asset Forfeiture is the job of New Castle County authority not WPD.

Will you vote for Wilmington police to collect and publish data, including by race, on all pedestrian and traffic stops they conduct, including the reason for the stop?

Yes. This will be vital information needed to address any formal complaints filed by citizens that are sometimes filed in the officer’s personnel files that are not FOIA-able.  

Will you vote in favor of periodic psychological evaluations of Wilmington police officers? Will you vote for funds to mental health support for officers?

Yes. Being a police officer is a stressful job. In today’s climate we all need to ensure that while dealing with these unprecedented time, we all have the needed release and therapy to address life’s pressures.   Providing periodic evaluations will ensure our officers mental states in dealing with stress, anxiety and any developed bias while performing their jobs professionally and per regulations is balanced and maintained.  If an officer is not in the right state of mind to make the sound professional and within regulation decisions while dealing with the public who may also be in need of psychological therapy, should be given relief of duty until they meet the required psychological state of mind. 

Will you vote for issuing all Wilmington Police officers body cameras?

Yes. I already am a co-sponsor on pending legislation due to move forward once we learn of the results of our grant for funding for body cameras. 

Since police officers are public servants, do you believe footage from arrest and police misconduct should be made public record?

Yes, if it does not hinder prosecution both ways.

If elected would you create and/or vote yes on an ordinance to end “no knock warrants”?

YES, absolutely. This practice has proved to be detrimental with deadly consciences. 

Will you vote in favor of ending Operation Safe Streets, which utilizes aggressive policing tactics to harass Wilmington families and community members?

Yes, Operation Safe Streets is not working and only rounding up low level criminals and not stopping the major traffickers of drugs and guns, plus at the same time harassing innocent citizens.

Will you vote in favor of a community review board that has the power to investigate incidents and complaints, audit policy compliance, has hiring and firing authority, and make records and hearings public to the greatest extent possible?

Yes.  This is essential in addressing any questionable actions by WPD which are usually overseen/investigated/disciplined by fellow officers.  It will also ensure compliance of policing practices, defined use of excessive force and building of community trust.

Will you require and fund Wilmington Police to operate a pre-arrest diversion program for people with substance abuse issues (a model similar to New Castle County’s Hero Help)?

Yes. The cost to incarcerate a person suffering from substance abuse without rehabilitation is inhumane and the funding should be diverted to more long-term detoxification support programs in the city/state. 

Communities of color in Wilmington have borne the brunt of aggressive policing and war on crime policies for decades. Those communities also bear the scars of decades of discrimination in housing, education, and access to economic opportunity. What will you do as a Council member, Mayor, or treasurer to repair that harm?

I will support the following using Community Restoration Practices: 

Implementation of $1 Homestead Program with resources to renovate vacant properties

  1. Rental Property Registration and Inspection requirement.

  2. Blight legislation to enforce littering/trash violations and exterior maintenance of property to code.

  3. Back and co-sign low interest loans to small business doing business in the City.

  4. Support employment set asides incentives for businesses who hire a set percentage of City residents.

  5. Offer short term Tax abatement incentives for new businesses to locate or grow within the City.

  6. Support revitalization programs of old existing housing stock in our community.

  7. Help in the development of CIE – Community Informal Ecosystems

  8. Amend current legislation providing easier inclusion of local minority/small business access to city procurement opportunities