Burning down the house

Police departments across the US are out of control. They often operate without effective civilian oversight or accountability. They are stocked to the gills with military equipment. Policing drains huge amounts from the public purse, compounded by millions wasted on lawsuits for misconduct. Most officers don’t live in the communities they police, and present themselves as an occupying force. Many officers think they can act with impunity, literally getting away with murder. Cowardly and complicit local, state, and federal governments refuse or fail to rein them in. As protests explode across the country after the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and so many other Black people, police often catalyze violence and are attacking members of the press. Yet heavily armed protests against covid-19 emergency orders met limited police response. This should be no surprise.

Let me end with the links to state that police are law enforcement. They are not there to seek, nor to ensure justice. They are there to maintain order. If that order is rotten, unjust, oppressive, and racist, then no amount of tinkering with police mandates will fix what they do.

The only answers are to push back, defund the police, and abolish prisons.

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