Collette Flanagan founded Mothers Against Police Brutality (MAPB) after her son, Clinton Allen, was shot to death by a Dallas police officer in March 2013. Clinton was unarmed; he was shot once in the arm, five times in the chest, and once in the back.
Mrs. Flanagan’s experiences in the aftermath of this official homicide – the indifference of Dallas City Hall, the lack of any assistance to the surviving family, the vilification of her son in the media, and finally the impunity enjoyed by the killer – turned her grief into anger and then into action.
A former IBM executive, Collette Flanagan has, in a very short time, built MAPB into an inter-generational, multi-ethnic, multicultural organization with both a local and national presence.
MAPB has pressured the Dallas Police Chief to be more transparent in the investigations of fatal police shootings. In two controversial shootings in 2014, MAPB was the first to release the autopsies of the victims – which showed that both victims were shot in the back. Chief David Brown announced in October that the department would display information on police shootings on the DPD web site. MAPB advocated officers should be suspended for 30 days following a shooting when existing policy mandated only a 3day leave. This change was also announced by Chief Brown in October 2015.
In November 2014, MABP, under Collette’s leadership led a delegation of Mothers to Washington, DC, where MAPB held the first Congressional debriefing, to demand a national response to the crisis of police violence against the public and to press for federal reforms to end abusive, militarized and biased policing, particularly of African-American and Latino communities.
In November 2014, MABP, under Collette’s leadership, presented the first-ever public hearing of testimony that was officially transcribed and recorded of the relatives that were victims of police homicide.
In 2015, Ms. Flanagan became a prestigious Echoing Green Fellow and was awarded the Black Male Achievement Fellowship, she keeps a heavy schedule of meetings and speaking engagements to colleges and other organization and lends her voice unwavering to the movement against police violence.
In January 2016, Mothers Against Police Brutality developed and officially released: Mothers Against Police Brutality Proposes 9 Steps for Justice in Policing to End Unaccountable Police Violence. MAPB has outlined these strategic steps in major forums sponsored by the United Nations and by the Robert F. Kennedy Foundation.
“My fight was and is still inspired by my children, and by other families and victims of police brutality”, said Mrs. Flanagan at a recent hearing. “I will not let my son, and their sons, fathers, and brothers, be forgotten.”
With the founding and initial work of Mothers Against Police Brutality, Collette Flanagan has emerged as one of America’s most effective advocates for peace and justice.
Content + Photo: Mothers Against Police Brutality