The death of George Floyd has caused a backlash throughout the entire world. All over, we have seen protests, riots, and so much more. In regards to the United States of America, there has been one demand that has overpowered everything else. Many Americans are now calling for defunding the police departments. While I do acknowledge there are a lot of mediocre cops who should not be on the force, by no means do I believe defunding the police is the answer.
First of all, there has been a massive flaw in the popular hashtag #defundthepolice. Political pundits, politicians, and activists alike are confused by the term. I took the less popular route of using the actual definition of the word defund. Defund means to prevent from continuing to receive funds. Therefore, defunding the police means to stop giving police departments funding until they eventually cease to exist. This strategy is apart of the “abolish the police” movement. Now, politicians are saying that’s not what they mean by defunding. They want to reallocate funds somewhere else. But instead of just suggesting we redistribute, they choose to go with the Too Woke Syndrome crowd and continue to shout the popular catchphrase.
Let’s say we defunded the police. Ok, now what? Many people who are screaming out to defund the police have yet to explain what the replacement option is. They have yet to produce a plan. They are making it sound so easy. Let’s take a more in-depth look into it. One of my most significant issues with defunding the police is the ripple effect that would take place. Without more of a police presence, crime would likely go up. It’s mind-boggling to me that people assume that a watered-down police presence means people will magically stop committing a crime. I’m afraid I have to disagree with that train of thought. When you look at data, there are reasons to suggest that the real issue is over-policing petty crimes and under-policing major crimes in Black communities. For example, officers will heavily police crimes such as loitering but are more lackadaisical with crimes such as assault. I’ve witnessed first-hand people forced to hold down a thief for over 30 minutes because the cops haven’t shown up despite the precinct being five blocks away. They only showed up when these white contractors called them. Let’s flip that train of thought. Many arrestable offenses should require fines or summonses. People won’t admit it because it’s blasphemous during this climate, but I believe police are necessary for every community. We can have reform and still get rid of awful officers. Like the ones who dragged kids out of their car, shoved an older man and busted his head open, and most recently killed another black man in Atlanta. These are the type of officers who need to be fired immediately. As long as we establish actual reform, not cute reforms, not flashy reforms, ACTUAL reform.
Another issue I have with defunding the police is the replacement options. For example, if we reallocated funds to social workers (which I agree with), are we to believe that there is not a lot of mediocre social workers as well? I bring this point up to say that for this strategy actually to work, many other agencies will also need an overhaul. No matter what state you’re in, I guarantee the police department is not the only flawed agency there. We have seen horror stories with social and mental health workers as well, in regards to the treatment of African Americans. You can’t just replace a flawed system with another flawed system and hope for the best.
As I said earlier, I believe in reforming the police departments as opposed to defunding. Real reform has never been attempted. You can’t try real police reform without weakening the stronghold of the unions, firing mediocre cops, and electing people who can execute a plan and stop choosing the best speaker. There’s so much that goes into this situation no matter what side you stand on. But as usual, it’s much easier to be angry than it is to be logical. It’s much easier to demand the police be defunded and abolished than it is to do the actual research.