Exclusive interview: Founder of act imposing mandatory minimums for killer cops speaks on petition signature removals

Travis Washington centered in picture wearing grey hoodie with hands up on both sides palms facing forward.

The “Hands Up Act,” which would impose a mandatory 15-year sentence on killer cops, continues garnering mass support after its launch in December 2018.


As the ongoing War Against Black America intensifies, it is clear we need deep systematic change to eliminate racist police killings and state repression. Every reform that reduces police terror, targeted particularly at Black communities, is a step in that direction. By definition, reforms do not address root causes of a problem but can alleviate its symptoms and therefore make life less difficult for working and oppressed classes. The police love reforms like “sensitivity trainings” or “implicit biases” programs because they do not even put a band-aid on the symptom and can be used to justify increased police budgets.

The “Hands Up Act” is different. The Act would limit the power of the police by creating additional obstacles and punishments for their routine use of violence, harassment, and torture by imposing a mandatory 15-year prison sentence on killer cops who shoot unarmed civilians. While many member groups of the Indianapolis Liberation Center do not distinguish between victims who are armed or unarmed, we stand behind this effort and want to do everything we can to make it a law. After all, the state uses mandatory minimums against us for far lesser crimes. Why should the police be exempt?

The Act has garnered the support of millions of people, including the mothers of Breonna Taylor and Michael Brown. In this exclusive interview with the Indianapolis Liberation Center, Travis Washington, founder and leading advocate of the “Hands Up Act,” speaks about the legislation, the millions who support it, and how it can help free Black and other oppressed people from the unceasing fear of being the next victim of state-sanctioned murder.

Disturbingly, however, Washington also reveals that signatures are disappearing from his petition, masking the massive support for the Act. The petition is hosted on Change.Org, a for-profit corporation.

Washington spoke at 2023 Black August Liberation Forum

On August 25 at 6:00 pm, Washington spoke on the struggle for justice for all victims of police violence at a special Black August event. Organized by PSL Indianapolis and the Indianapolis Liberation Center, the forum addressed advancing the centuries-long struggle for Black Liberation.

After watching and listening to Washington in this exclusive interview, check out Washington’s speech here!

Travis Washington on the “Hands Up Act”

Featured photo: Travis Washington, founder and national advocate for the “Hands Up Act.” Credit: Angel Chevrestt.