The Shea Moisture Justice Coalition grant winner founded Raheem, an organization that helps survivors of police brutality report violence and get justice.
Brandon Anderson’s work as a force for social justice change was spawned from an unexepect tragedy. After his life partner was killed during a routine traffic stop by a cop, Anderson became an advocate for survivors of police violence.
“The officer that killed my partner had a reputation for being violent,” Anderson told ESSENCE.
“No one reported the officer because the police department, like most police departments in the US, makes filing a complaint unnecessarily difficult, intimidating, and wholly unrewarding. It’s why less than 5 percent of victims report police violence,” he explained.
In order to ensure more police officers were held accountable for their misconduct and crimes, the Oklahoma native founded Raheem.org in his partner’s honor.
Raheem is the independent online service for reporting police in the United States. The organization builds tools that make it easier for communities to report police, and then use the open complaint data to advance legislation that empowers professional alternatives to police who can respond to conflict with care.
“When you report police violence to Raheem.org, our team connects you to a free lawyer, files a complaint against the officer wherever you are in the country, and unites you with a local advocacy organization—moving you from a victim of police violence to an advocate for abolition,” Anderson explained.
Raheem has helped thousands of people report police in over 200 cities across the country and tied more than 275 officers to cases of police misconduct. Because of the organization’s policy recommendations, co-developed with eight other black and brown led groups, Oakland now has one of the most progressive use-of-force policies in history.
While Anderson’s efforts have already begun to transform policing in America, there is still so much work to be done. This year, the global pandemic further underscored the many ways Black folks are disenfranchised in this country.
“Police killed George Floyd, and the autopsy later determined that he tested positive for
COVID-19,” Anderson said.
“If not for black suffering being such a necessary practice for the world as it is
today, we would all be more baffled that George Floyd survived the world’s deadliest virus in modern history but got killed by the police for being Black.”
As the winner of the Shea Moisture Social Justice Coalition grant, Anderson will use the $20,000 to support general operations at Raheem.
Tiffany Dena Loftin, National Director of the NAACP Youth and College Division and Social Justice Coalition Advisory Council member told ESSENCE of his work,
“This moment is transformational because SJC is modeling exact leadership at the intersection of authenticity, community, and power. I am so excited to work with such a necessary and powerful project like Raheem to help people understand their own power to end violence and abolish systems that create that violence. Let’s keep working.”