Recently, there has been outrage across the United States after the death of George Floyd at the hands of the police. Protests and riots have sparked to speak out against the injustices towards African-Americans which includes systematic racism. Many civilians suggest that there should be defunding towards the police. Defunding will not only make the police accountable for their actions, but the money defunded can go towards many other resources needed . For example, resources in healthcare, resources for black communities, and etc. Numerous people feel as though defunding is not the right solution, and offers the idea of abolishing the police. Termination of the police will bring the nation one step closer to domestic tranquility, what the preamble of our constitution promises.
People think that reform to the system of policing is a great alternative to abolishing. Reform is needed in the police system, however, many reforms have been applied to the system already. According to the New York Times, it states,”But efforts to solve police violence through liberal reforms like these have failed for nearly a century. Enough. We can’t reform the police. The only way to diminish police violence is to reduce contact between the public and the police.”(Kaba, 2020). The conflict is that there have been many reforms to the police system and yet the police kill more innocent African-Americans. A 1,000,000 more reforms petitioned and there will still be police brutality. It is inevitable. Police brutality will persist as long as there are still cops.
The system of policing here in the United States of America is horrendous as portrayed already on the news and social media. Why? To answer this question, the history of policing must be to question and policing. Around the 1700’s and 1800’s, the police were better known as the Runaway Slave Patrol. The National Law Enforcement Museum has written,”Slave patrols were no less violent in their control of African Americans; they beat and terrorized as well. Their distinction was that they were legally compelled to do so by local authorities. In this sense, it was considered a civic duty—one that in some areas could result in a fine if avoided. In others, patrollers received financial compensation for their work. Typically, slave patrol routines included enforcing curfews, checking travelers for a permission pass, catching those assembling without permission, and preventing any form of organized resistance.”(Hansen,2019) Slave patrols made sure slaves were subservient to their masters. Examining this fact even further, the police were always set to be against black people. Police opposed the efforts of African-Americans in the Civil Rights Movement. Statistics show that African Americans are disproportionately targeted by the police. The use of curfews to limit protests can be referenced back to slavery. The United States as a country can not totally move on with slavery when there is still police. The police will always be a reminder of the 400+ years of systematic racism African Americans and black people face.
Many people bring up the fact that the police protect citizens of the country, and without them, no one in the country will protect us. Police lay their lives down on the line to protect residents of the U.S. from robbers, killers, hostels, armed people with hostile intent, and etc. However, people fail to mention that the police are the serial killer of the nation. Statistica released a statistic that accounts for the amount of people killed by police over the years,”Sadly, the trend of fatal police shootings in the United States seems to only be increasing, with a total 506 civilians having been shot, 105 of whom were Black, as of June 30, 2020. In 2018, there were 996 fatal police shootings, and in 2019 this figure increased to 1,004. Additionally, the fatal rate of shootings among Black Americans was much higher than that for any other ethnicity, standing at 31 fatal shootings per million of the population as of June 2020.” (Statistica Research Department, 2020).Police have proved already to have killed thousands of people. This is comparable to the amount of deaths caused by serial killers. The mission of police may be to protect the public, but they act in opposition to that statement. Police are the real murderers of the nation.
The Black Lives Matter movement speaks out against police brutality. Police are the reason this nation can never prosper. Police are one of the obstacles in the nation from true domestic tranquility. Slavery will live in the legacy of the United States. Police are reminders in the country that everyone is not treated as fairly and not everyone is equal in America. The ⅗ rule regarding African Americans still feels to many that it has never been away. Systematic and Institutionalized and systematic racism will never go away if there is still a presence of a really vile system in this country known as policing. If people are in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter Movement, then they would advocate for abolishing the police.
Jermaine Baffour – St. Paul’s – DMSF