Policing and the unanswered question...

Discussion in 'United States' started by (original)late, Jun 8, 2020.

  1. (original)late

    (original)late Banned

    Aug 19, 2015
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    I am going to post part of an article, and then talk about it. I don't entirely agree with it, but it provides some background we need to have the discussion; to start answering the question.

    "But beyond the fiscal argument is an ethical one: policing in America cannot be reformed because it is designed for violence. The oppression is a feature, not a bug.

    ...the history of policing is steeped in blood. In fact, the Texas Rangers are named after a group of white men of the same name who slaughtered Comanche Indians in 1841 to steal indigenous territory and expand the frontier westward. The Rangers are considered the first state police organization.

    Likewise, as black people fought for their freedom from slavery by escaping north, slave patrols were established to bring us back to captivity. Many researchers consider slave patrols a direct “forerunner of modern American law enforcement”.

    In northern “free” states, police precincts developed in emerging industrial cities to control what economic elites referred to as “rioting”, which was “the only effective political strategy available to exploited workers”. But, as described in the text Community Policing, this “rioting” was: actually a primitive form of what would become union strikes against employers, [and] [t]he modern police force not only provided an organized, centralized body of men (and they were all male) legally authorized to use force to maintain order, it also provided the illusion that this order was being maintained under the rule of law, not at the whim of those with economic power.

    In other words, police were never created to protect and serve the masses, and our legislative and judicial systems – from Congress to the courts to prosecutors – have made this clear. Congress’s 1850 Fugitive Slave Act, for instance, incentivized law enforcement officials to capture Africans suspected of running away from slavery, paying officials more money to return them to slave owners than to free them.

    The billions of dollars that governments spend on increasingly militarized police can be better used to address the underlying socioeconomic conditions that contribute to police encounters. We should divert resources towards investments in mental health, public education, drug prevention programs, homelessness prevention, community-centered crime prevention and jobs development."

    The question is what police are for. Because you don't need militarisation to serve people. It's kinda the opposite. Take drugs as an example. Instead of treatment, we break down the doors of innocent people and put 8 bullets into a sleeping health care worker.

    That implies a definition of 'protect' with which I was previously unacquainted...

    So are the police there to keep a boot on the neck of the people? Or are they there to serve.

    You can't have it both ways. Even worse, things don't stand still, we will get more of one or the other. Trump is a reminder of just how bad bad can get.

    Let's say we take a step back, and think about how we want to do this.


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