Monday, May 20, 2024

What Is Defunding The Police

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Doesnt More Police Funding Reduce Crime

How Defunding the Police Is Working Out in Seattle

Bandele says no. In fact, the data shows that reducing the numbers of police officers and the size of police departments could actually reduce crime, she reports. Back in 2014, the New York Police Department staged a halt of aggressive police tactics as part of a protest. But the effect wasnt what they expected: Crime actually went down when cops took a more passive role.

Planned Parenthood Commits To Advocating For Policies That Will End Police Violence And Systemic Racism

Its unacceptable that Black people disproportionately suffer from state violence and killings.

Planned Parenthood is committed to advocating for policies that will dismantle the system of white supremacy and oppression of communities of color including policies to end police violence.

Specifically, Planned Parenthood is calling on public officials at all levels of government to work together to adopt four key proposals: holding police officers and departments accountable, divesting from police budgets, investing in community-based solutions, and ensuring peaceful neighborhoods.

1. Evaluate local, state, and federal budgets and policy priorities. Then, divest resources from policing.

2. Reallocate resources to the health care, housing, and education that people deserve. Invest in community-based solutions and policies that prioritize public health approaches.

3. Enact laws and policies that allow everyone to parent their children in safe environments and healthy communities without fear of violence from individuals or the government. These policies are necessary to ensure that individuals, families, and communities have the tools they need to stay healthy and thrive.

4. Eliminate policies that criminalize health care, including punishments for people living with HIV and peoples behavior during pregnancy .

Outside The United States

In Canada, politicians in major cities have expressed interest in diverting some police funds. In Toronto, city councilors Josh Matlow and Kristyn Wong-Tam have planned to propose a 10% cut to the police budget. Doctors for Defunding the Police have advocated for widespread reforms. In Montreal, Mayor Valérie Plante has said she is in talks about the police budget.

In Scotland, a violence reduction unit run by Police was set up in 2005, which aims to prevent violence with educational and outreach programs.

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair criticized defund the police in a 2021 article for the New Statesman, describing it as “voter-repellent” and “the left’s most damaging political slogan since ‘the dictatorship of the proletariat.'” Blair furthermore claimed that the slogan “leaves the right with an economic message which seems more practical and a powerful cultural message around defending flag, family and fireside traditional values.” Both the leaderships of the British Labour Party and the Conservative Party have pledged not to defund the police force.

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Body Cameras Trainings And Other So

In Minneapolis and other U.S. cities, body cameras and other reform measures were implemented as part of the Obama administrations multimillion-dollar response to the call for police accountabilityand have proven largely ineffective.

  • Body cams are regularly shut off by police and do not result in less violent behaviorwhile increasing surveillance of those being policed.
  • Trainings on implicit bias for police have shown no demonstrable effect. In fact in Chicago, it was found that officers accused of abuses were leading the training.
  • Community policingthe idea that if police and community work together, there will be more trust in the policedoesnt work, either. The practice deputizes white and wealthy community members to surveille their neighbors, resulting in even more police actions based on racist attitudes and beliefs.

Meanwhile, police murders continue, with 1,002 people shot and killed by police already this year.

Tell Your Governor: Invest In Our Communities Not Policing

Want To Defund The Police? Heres How To Help

We need real change. Thats why we must stop investing in police and incarceration and instead intentionally invest in alternative models that are centered in community and address the root causes of harm, in addition to making greater investments in schools, health care, and other human needs that keep our communities safe.

Here is why we should all support the call to defund the police:

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Herbold and Lewis signed on to the idea of defunding, with Herbold drafting but never introducing a proposal to reduce SPDs remaining 2020 budget by half.

On Twitter, I just responded to a bunch of people who are tweeting at me and said Im going to make a proposal for a 50% cut, Herbold explained in July. It was never a proposal on paper. It was never a piece of legislation.

It was never an amendment it was sort of the framework for what could have, if it was realistic, become an amendment, she added.

Why Not Just Reform Police Departments

Though many politicians argue for reforming police departments using commonsense solutions like installing civilian review boards and banning warrior style training, which instructs officers to view all encounters as dangerous and to prioritize their own safety, advocates argue that incremental reform has failed to combat police violence in any meaningful way. After a white officer shot and killed Michael Brown in Ferguson in 2014, for instance, there was a nationwide push for officers to wear body cameras, which advocates predicted would improve police accountability. It has not been successful. An extensive study of more than 2,000 police officers, published in 2017, found that the body cameras had almost zero effect on deterring officers from acting with unnecessary force and, as evidenced by the recent police shooting of David McAtee, officers can simply turn off their cameras. Another example: The NYPD banned choke holds more than two decades ago, which didnt stop Officer Daniel Pantaleo from holding Eric Garner in one until he stopped breathing.

Police unions, which wield great political power, also push back against criminal-justice reform that would promote transparency and accountability. Amid the protests, pressure has mounted within unions that represent police officers notably, the AFL-CIO to expel all police affiliates many of those putting pressure on the unions also support defunding.

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Are There Examples Of Successful Movements To Reform Police Systems

While Camden, New Jersey, is an oft-cited example of a city that reformed its police force, McHarris challenged this thinking. He said that the high-tech surveillance model that replaced Camdens previous policing model does not create safety in a fully transformed way.

Indeed, Camden has been called the surveillance city for the intrusive technology it adopted in an effort to bring down crime rates.

We have to conceive of safety in a way that does not get reduced down to crime statistics, McHarris said, noting that relying too heavily on crime rates to gauge safety can shift focus away from other important factors such as economic security or access to a quality education within a community.

McHarris did point to other effective reform efforts.

Dallas, for example, has been dispatching social workers to some 911 calls that appear to be related to mental health.

What Would Efforts To Defund Or Disband Police Departments Really Mean

Defunding the police could mean replacing officers with social workers, says expert

Much is not yet certain, but heres what is known so far about some efforts to defund or abolish police departments.

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MINNEAPOLIS Across the country, calls are mounting from some activists and elected officials to defund, downsize or abolish police departments. A veto-proof majority of the Minneapolis City Council pledged on Sunday to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department, promising to create a new system of public safety in a city where law enforcement has long been accused of racism.

The calls for change have left people uncertain of what those changes would really mean and how cities would contend with crime. Much remains uncertain and the proposals vary between cities, but here are answers to some questions about the issue.

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What Does Defund The Police Really Mean

Dig into this contentious call to action

Defund the police. The phrase is as complex as it is current. It has been printed in countless headlines and splashed across Facebook feeds in the wake of George Floyds murder and global anti-racism protests. City councils across the country are discussing police reform and reallocating budgets. Some municipalities plan to cut police funds, while others have voted to maintain them.

Regardless of a citys stance, making changes to such a large institution couldnt happen overnight. According to Statistics Canada, police budgets have generally been on the rise for the last two decades and operating expenditures in Canada reached more than $15 billion in 2017-18, the most recent data available.

Almost all police services in Canada ascribe to a community policing model, which focuses on building public trust and meeting a communitys needs over forceful crime control. Those calling for defunding question the effectiveness of this approach, while 68,000 police officers across this country wonder what budget cuts might mean for them.

For a term that has become so well-known, defund the police doesnt have a single definition. It covers a spectrum of ideas, from redistributing a portion of police funds toward social services to abolishing the institution altogether.

How would you define defund the police?

What are your concerns when it comes to reallocating funds?

What is police culture in Canada?

What are your recommendations?

What Defunding The Police Means

Defunding the police doesn’t mean reducing safety, as the Movement for Black Lives explains. Defunding the police is all about protecting and serving communities in ways other than militarizing the police. Defunding the police really means investing in community-based solutions, education, and health care.

A successful plan to defund and divest from the police will look different in every city and require participation from the community. But across the board, Planned Parenthood Action Fund supports calls for national, state, and local governments to:

  • Shift away from massive spending on police forces that often don’t keep people safe, and reverse centuries of disinvestment in Black communities and

  • Shift toward a massive investment in community safety that works including increased funding in public health so we can all live connected, represented, and free.

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    Pattern Of Abuse Three Residents Accuse Deputy From Arkansas Cop Video Of Assault

    The concept is simple: When cities start investing in community services, they reduce the need to call police in instances when police officers specific skill set isnt required. If someone is dealing with a mental health crisis, or someone has a substance abuse disorder, we are calling other entities that are better equipped to help these folks, Garcia says.

    When people get the specific help they need earlier, theyre less likely to end up in the kind of dangerous situation police might be called to defuse situations that often turn deadly for those individuals. According to a study from the Treatment Advocacy Center, a person with an untreated mental health issue is 16 times more likely to be killed by police than other members of the community a statistic borne out in the deaths of Antonio Zambrano-Montes, reported behaving erratically before he was shot in Pasco, Washington, and Jason Harris, said to have been exhibiting bizarre behavior before he was shot in Riverside County, California.

    The same logic, Garcia says, can and should be applied to nonviolent crimes as well as it was before the Broken Windows era of policing, when the philosophy that small visible crimes must be punished or theyll beget larger crimes became popular in police departments around the country.

    What Would That Mean For Public Safety

    Stop Defunding Schools, Start Defunding Police: A Juvenile Public ...

    Proponents of policing say that an increased police presence increases public safety, but activists disagreefor a few reasons. Proponents of defunding note that police overpolice Black and brown communities when compared to white communities, which leads to increased interactions with the criminal justice system for Black and brown people, and in turn contributes to the economic destabilization of their communities.

    “This is a system that was not created or designed to serve communities, especially Black communities.”

    “This is a system that was not created or designed to serve communities, especially Black communities,” Jillian Johnson, mayor pro tempore of Durham, North Carolina, said in an interview with NPR. “Our best chance for building a safety solution that puts people first, that puts communities first, that takes care of people rather than criminalizes, incarcerates, and punishes them is by shifting resources that we use for policing into other systems, alternative systems, alternative institutions rather than the institutions that we know are also causing us harm.”

    Whether or not other cities take action to defund the police, the rallying cry has galvanized a new era of the Black Lives Matter movement, one that sees widespread pushes for local policy changes and reinvestment in community support systems.

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    Demilitarize The Police And End Mass Surveillance

    We must ban the use of military-grade armaments that police use to terrorize communities, including tear gas, pepper spray bullets, long-range acoustic devices, grenade launchers, mine-resistant tanks, and bayonets. We must end state and federal grant programs that provide this equipment.

    Police must also stop using surveillance devices and programs to intimidate and violate the privacy of Black and Brown communities.

    Do Police Unions Serve As A Barrier To Reform

    McHarris said police unions can sometimes impede reform of a department. This had been the case in Minnesota, McHarris said, where union arbitrators side with fired police officers just under 50 percent of the time.

    I think for a long time, the amount of political power that unions and police departments have held has played a major part in preventing anything from really happening, McHarris said, noting that the money and influence elected officials stand to gain from unions is significant.

    But he said that the tides are turning as more citizens begin to put pressure on their elected officials to implement reforms to their policing systems, and there is potential for these reform groups to outweigh the political influence of police unions.

    He also said that other labor unions are pushing for police unions to be released from broader union collectives in order to mitigate some of that power.

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    A Paradigm Shift: $870m Cut From Police

    For years, local advocacy groups have packed city hall meetings, demanding âjobs not jailsâ, âcare not copsâ and âbooks not barsâ â urging officials to stop expanding budgets for police and jails. They have argued that cities should instead prioritize the programs that have been defunded over the years that would address root causes of crime and poverty, like education, healthcare and homeless services.

    Local lawmakers largely ignored activistsâ pleas, and police spending has tripled over the last 40 years, helping to make the US a world leader in incarceration and police killings. Even as cities have faced financial shortfalls, local governments consistently spent an increasing on police .

    The dynamics suddenly changed last summer during massive Black Lives Matter demonstrations after video emerged of a Minneapolis officer pressing his knee on George Floydâs neck for almost nine minutes.

    âEveryone on the street provided a new window into understanding and defining the problem of police brutality,â said Nikki Jones, a professor of African American studies at the University of California, Berkeley, who described a âparadigm shiftâ in conservations about police and systemic racism.

    New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Baltimore and a dozen other cities have all also reduced police spending. And some of these cities are now demonstrating the impacts of their new budgets.

    How Is The Money Used

    What “defund the police” really means

    The ways departments spend their money varies, but the largest chunk goes toward officers’ paychecks, which includes full- and part-time pay, benefits, and overtime pay for all employees. Nationally, the average salary for police officers ranges from $36,290 in Mississippi to $105,220 in California.

    As an example, in 2017 the metropolitan police department for Washington, D.C. spent $476 million of its $555 million budget on personnel services, leaving the remaining $79 million for expenses such as interdepartmental charges, contractual services, depreciation, material services, and other expenditures. In Cincinnati, Ohio, the trend continued, with $86.7 million of the citys $132.7 million budget doled out to department employees in 2017.

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    What Can We Do As Law Scholars To Be Helpful And Hold Productive Conversations

    As the movement begins to shift from the streets and into classrooms and political discourse, how should those of us in the field of law address the discussion? Bell says its important first and foremost not to be dismissive. Scholars sometimes start the conversation with the phrase Well, its just not possible and thats where the conversation also ends. But thats not really a scholarly point to make.

    Keep the discussion open by discussing state and local government procedures, emphasizing how these types of changes can take place. The police we have now are the result of very radical reforms, says Su. They were just the wrong types of reforms. We can make radical changes again we just have to keep working at it.

    This is a very layered and nuanced situation, but it isnt just being taken on by those living in the United States. Abolitionist organizers are working internationally to dismantle racism and classism. Organizers in Ferguson have worked with organizers in Palestine and Brazil among others. Even though its a hyper local issue, it also has a global focus and scholars can play their part by keeping the conversations thoughtful and rooted in realistic examples.

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