Community safety would be the goal. How to achieve community safety should be the subject of conversation and debate. What in fact does community safety look like? What are the measuring devices that one uses to know whether or not a community is safe.
An example of that conversation would examine the use of marijuana in a community and the use of current levels of 'policing' in a community and make a determination as to which presents the community with a greater danger... realistically. Is the use of marijuana a danger to the community or is 'policing' a danger to the community?
The citizens of this country are neither protected nor served when those pledged to do so kill those same citizens without any concern for repercussions for their murderous activity.
Our laws need to be revised with the same thinking. Many of our criminal laws have been 'knee-jerk' over-reactions by legislative bodies who had very little knowledge and high levels of fear. That combined with the overall racism of the nation has led us to our current position of the largest prison population on the planet and more citizens being murdered by the police than are being killed in our constant wars.
That we have defunded education for so long in this country has created a situation wherein the young must turn to sources outside of the educational system for education and training. The military offers a short-term solution for young people with limited skills. After military duty ends, the ex-soldier has been trained in using weapons to kill people and finds very few opportunities to use that training outside of the military with the exception of the various police departments across the country.
Our collective attitude is to welcome home the recently discharged soldier, give them new territory to patrol along with the instructions to maintain 'law and order'.
When policing was the work of 'slave patrols', everyone knew exactly what was what. Now, the police do the very same work, as we struggle to justify the results in current language. It is time to re-examine ourselves, and that's the truth !!!
New York's newest protesters are right:
it's time to defund police
from The Guardian by Steven W Thrasher
One of the goals of Millions March NYC has already been met: the police commissioner resigned. Now it’s time to take their other demands seriously
My professor friend AJ and I led a walking tour of college students earlier this week about protest and policing in New York City. Between our stop at One Police Plaza, where “broken windows” policing was unleashed on our city, and the site of Eric Garner’s death on Staten Island, we stopped at the newest occupation in town at City Hall Park.
Mayor Bill de Blasio had just announced police commissioner Bill Bratton’s resignation as we walked through the park, quickly achieving one of the occupying group’s three ambitious goals when they appeared on Monday. The other two call for defunding the NYPD and using some of that money for reparations for survivors of “police terrorism”.
The group, Millions March NYC, makes a solid point: it is imperative to defund police departments across the country immediately, redirecting that money instead to black futures and the marginalized. Because while reparations paid to next of kin for police abuse is already a billion-dollar business, there is no need for anyone to be executed in the first place.
As Millions March accurately explains, “Policing is a violent, anti-black institution that originated as slave patrols and expanded into the domestic occupying force seen today in working class communities and communities of color.”
Policing doesn’t work. While crime was at historic low levels in 2015, American police managed to kill 1,146 people that year, and another 633 so far in 2016. But police acting as judge, jury and executioner in these killings – which often occur in poor neighborhoods – isn’t what has made national crime low overall. “The differences between what parts of the country are more safe is not a matter of who has the most policing,” Elsa, a protester at City Hall Park eloquently put it to me. “It’s a matter of who has the most resources.”
Policing can’t be reformed by technology, and cameras aren’t slowing down or stopping police killing sprees. We are routinely hearing that supposedly mandatory body camera are mysteriously or deliberately turned off at crucial moments. Still, even when officers know they are on video, they still seem to have no trouble killing (or even telling the dying, “fuck your breath”). Police violence can’t be solved by tech. In fact, viral videos of police abuse and death serve an important purpose: they inspire fear and terror, in what some hope will create docility and compliance among black people.
Nor can policing be reformed by scaling down, as the continued racial profiling of the NYPD shows. According the the New York Civil Liberties Union, the NYPD stopped and frisked 685,724 New Yorkers in its most egregious year, 2012, of whom 87% were black and Latino. After reforms, “only” 22,939 New Yorkers were stopped last year … and yet, 83% were still black or Latino. The racial disparity of the stops remain almost unchanged, even though white people are more likely to be walking around with guns or drugs.
Policing can’t be reformed by “community policing”, either – through dancing memes or stunts of friendly cops. As Elizabeth Hinton writes in From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime, Police Athletic Leagues were designed as “pre-emptive strikes for cops to find ‘potential criminals’ under the cover of providing social services”. More recently, video of a police department in Virginia has been making the rounds showing police officers giving out ice cream instead of tickets. This stunt is not legal – it is not OK for police to stop you for the “gift” of receiving ice cream at gunpoint – and it exposes how insipid, insidious and infantilizing the optics of police reform are.
The police will gobble up resources not out of need, but out of irrational fear, such as when the NYPD added 1,300 cops even as crime is low. It is amazing to me that when a public school is trying to educate children whose parents are underpaid, underinsured and struggling for food and shelter, it can be labeled a “failure”. Such a school can be taken over, made into a charter school, and turned over to the market. Police departments just get larger budgets.
Yet they are clearly failing, and should be taken over, though not given to the market. They already respond enough to that. Instead, they should be defunded until they can prove their relevance to society. Until such time, their budgets should be diverted to educate, feed and empower the people they police, until our society is so just it doesn’t require a heavy-handed need for obedience obtained through violence.
And Abolish The Police
from The Daily Caller by Peter Hasson
California State University, Los Angeles professor Nana Gyamfi, who has worked as an attorney for Black Lives Matter protesters, said in an interview this weekend that she is “not concerned about blue lives” and wants the police to be dismantled and abolished.
Gyamfi, who described herself as “someone who has worked with the Black Lives Matter and represented folks with Black Lives Matter” in an interview with California radio station KPPC, said her ultimate goal is a world without police officers.
“I see the police as part of the state and part of state sanctioned violence against our people, and so for me, I’m not concerned about blue lives, I’m concerned about black lives,” Gyamfi said, noting that she wasn’t speaking on behalf of the organization.
“In fact, I want the police to be abolished. I think we should be pushing the police out of our community. I think that we should be defunding the police. I think that we should be demilitarizing the police and finally dismantling the police,” she continued.
When asked how America would keep order in a society without police, Gyamfi said: “Well, I suggest we keep order by doing what we did before we had the influx of crack cocaine and other ills that caused us to call the police in. There was a time when black people didn’t call police into the community… We had our own means in the community.”
Gyamfi, who participated in an event at Otis College last year where her occupation was listed as “Lawyer-Black Lives Matter,” isn’t the first activist to call for the defunding of police.
One organizer of a protest in Chicago last year said in an appearance on MSNBC that “One of our major demands is that police be defunded and that that money used to fund police be used to fund black futures, and be used to fund our communities and things that we need.”
The Black Youth Project, an activist group that “organizes for the liberation of ALL Black people,” has demanded the defunding of all police departments. “We demand all local, state and federal budgets to defund the police and invest those dollars and resources in Black futures,” the group’s website states.
follow Peter Hasson on Twitter @PeterJHasson
It’s twofold. First, if you believe that the cops are, as Professor Melina Abdullah has said, “an occupying force,” then the only solution is to “end the occupation.” Second, there’s a deeper goal of removing the rule of the law from the system because the system itself is supposedly corrupt. If the police are the enforcement arm for America, and if America is racist, then the only way to fight American racism is to disband its enforcement arm. What will spring up in its wake? “Community solutions” – a new society, flourishing in the absence of America’s historic ills.