“Defund the police” became a staple slogan in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and when fighting against the current injustices against people of color. The movement has grown dramatically due to anger, fear, and other related emotions towards police and their unreasonable actions towards African Americans specifically. Many believe the way to put an end to it is to simply defund the police. On the other hand, others believe the system needs to be abolished. What do you think?
Statistics show in the United States, Black people are five times more likely to be imprisoned compared to White people and are three times more likely to be killed by the police… let that sink in.
What Defunding the police would look like?
Adjunct professor of law from Georgetown Law School, Arjun Singh Sethi, believes there are many definitions when it comes to the word “defund”. But in essence, it means to “reallocate money from policing to other agencies funded by local municipalities.….”
Philip McHarris, a doctoral candidate in sociology at Yale University and lead researcher and policy associate at the Community Resource Hub for Safety and Accountability, also weighs in and says, “The concept exists on a spectrum, and the two aren’t dichotomous but interconnected. But both interpretations center on reimagining what public safety looks like — shifting resources away from law enforcement toward community resources. It also means dismantling the idea that police are “public stewards” meant to protect communities. Many Black Americans and other people of color don’t feel protected by police.” What McHarris is saying (similar to that of Arjun Singh) is relying more on each other as a community can help to empower people and make them feel like they matter because let’s face it, Black people feel more threatened by police than safe. It is very telling about the current climate of the world.
What abolishing entirely look like?
Abolishment may seem a bit harsh at first, but those seeking it wants to rebuild a different policing model and community safety. Jenn Jackson, a political scientist from Syracuse University, believes in “building a world where we do not rely on anti-Black, white supremacist institutions of order to regulate society. This means that alternative forms of order might be embraced, like community care networks and justice structures rooted in restoration rather than punishment.” Overall, the goal is to create solutions to the problem.
The Pro’s and Con’s of “Defund the Police”
On the one hand, abolishing and defunding the police can reduce the crime rate. Not to mention, it could reduce violence against people of color overall. A growing issue regarding the police system is their outdated methods and not being well equipped for specific situations. Many police officers respond to a variety of calls ranging from domestic violence to mental illness that the officer may or may not be prepared for. Unfortunately, many have lost their lives due to irresponsibility, bias, and things of that nature. Defunding can be a potential solution. On the other hand, defunding and abolishing the system as a whole doesn’t mean crime won’t still occur. Not to mention if budgets are cut, taxation amongst civilians will be increased to fund what is being lost.
Will defunding or abolishing the police work?
On a widespread scale, defunding the police hasn’t been effective. It would be a completely different world with no police system or law enforcement, so there’s no sure way to tell. But Minneapolis has begun the process of disbanding their cities police system entirely. To abolish the system completely is a bit radical, but the future of America is always up for debate, so we’re going to have to wait and see.