‘Community policing’ is a trick – new enforcers for the same oppressors, not a dismantling of tyranny | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

‘Community policing’ is a trick – new enforcers for the same oppressors, not a dismantling of tyranny

As the massive anti-police-brutality protests sweeping the US are diverted into calls to “defund the police” and to replace them with community-based enforcers, Americans would be wise to keep an eye on “who benefits.”

But, if nothing else, the George Floyd killing has reminded Americans that we don’t have a functioning system. US police kill an average of 1,000 civilians every year, with just one percent of those killings leading to an indictment – never mind a conviction. Cops typically receive many more hours of training in target practice than in conflict de-escalation.

Yet many countries manage to operate police forces that maintain a semblance of order without racking up a four-digit body count every year. There are plenty of reform strategies US police forces could adopt, starting with holding cops accountable to the same laws as citizens (i.e. murder and theft are illegal).

So why has the conversation been wrenched to the extreme of “defund the police”? As a solution, it’s wildly unpopular, with two thirds of Americans opposed. Even if it doesn’t catapult the US into a privatized dystopia in which the billionaire class is protected by Blackwater mercenaries equipped with the best facial recognition-enhanced “pre-crime” surveillance tech money can buy – and that’s a big ‘if,’ given how many pieces of such a future are already in place – scrapping the police without dramatically overhauling the political system that produced its worse abuses guarantees that whatever arises to fill the role of “law enforcement” will be just as oppressive – if not more so – than today’s bumper crop of “bad apples.”

“Community policing” appears at first glance far superior to the current model. Officers who live in the communities they serve are less likely to mistreat their charges, more personally invested in neighborhood quality of life, and so on. Properly done, community policing results in a drop in crime and declining prison populations. What’s a corrupt politician with extensive investments in private prisons and mercenary firms to do, especially if his constituents are no longer fighting each other and instead comparing notes regarding how best to depose him on election day?

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I am hoping (and as a Christian, praying) that President Trump's soon-forthcoming Executive Order on Police Reform is intelligently crafted to focus on conflict de-escalation, but balanced with the ability to deal with the violent, repeat offenders in a more intelligent way than does the US penal system allow for at this point in time.

I have a "hug and a punch" relationship with the documentaries of Michael Moore, (and my "punches" are all soft taps on the shoulder!), but he did a brilliant piece called "Where to Invade Next?", where he looks at how other cultures are solving their problems perhaps more intelligently than are their American cousins.

One of the places he visited was a Norwegian prison, where the male population lived in dorms, actually got something approximating some education and drug counseling; and where visits with family were encouraged.

The end result was far less recidivism than we have here in the US, and people tended to stay out of trouble better than did their American counterparts.