The surprising argument for police defunding: Sensitivity training didn't work

screen-shot-2020-06-05-at-3-07-58-pmThis will appall the white guilt industry that has been reaping a fortune by conducting those cleansing sensitivity workshops for lo these many decades

The latest race orthodoxy explains that the police must be defunded because the years-long training program the Minneapolis police conducted failed to prevent the police killing of George Floyd

Therefore, we are told, that instead of sensitivity training, police departments must be rebuilt from the ground up using a template prescribed by the woke. As  in the Rolling Stone explains in “A Practical Guide to Defunding the Police”:

The year Philando Castile was shot and killed during his 49th routine traffic stop, this one for a broken taillight, the Minneapolis Police Department was halfway through a highly respected, three-year programdesigned to restore trust between the community and police. Two years later, MPD had, by its own account, implemented a host of the trendiest police reforms: body cameras, de-escalation and crisis intervention training, mindfulness training. It even rewrote its use-of-force guidelines to emphasize “the sanctity of life.” Two years after that, George Floyd was killed — handcuffed, flat on his stomach, held down by three MPD officers, including Derek Chauvin, pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck.

…activists in Minneapolis are calling for more than just reform: They want the Minneapolis Police Department defunded — and those calls are catching on elsewhere as demonstrations against police brutality sweep across the country and peaceful protesters are met with more barbarism for speaking out against it.

An aside: I’m not sure who’s “barbarism” she’s writing about: The rioters who are rampaging through and destroying black neighborhoods or the police who are trying to stop–not the protestors–but the punk rioters.

The same theme is brought forth in The Best Way to “Reform” the Police Is to Defund the Police  by Alex Vitale professor of sociology and coordinator of the Policing and Social Justice Project at Brooklyn College and author of The End of Policing in which he excoriates reformers who believe or at least hope the policing process can be fixed. 

Procedural reformers are caught in this mythic understanding of American society. They believe that the neutral professional enforcement of the law is automatically beneficial for everyone, that the rule of law sets us all free….

Defunding  means, in his view, redirecting money from police budgets into programs that more directly help end what Vitale apparently believes are social and not law enforcement problems. Like many others, he’s rather short on the specifics of how this would work, but he at least makes an effort:

We need to be putting concrete alternatives out there. For example, mental health crisis calls have become major part of what police to every day in New York City. There are seven hundred of them a day. We don’t need police to do that work, and in fact we don’t want armed police doing that work, because it’s dangerous for people having mental health crises. We need to create a twenty-four-hour non-police mental health crisis response system.

All well and good. But if I might raise one practical problem: The most dangerous police calls usually involve one kind of mental health problem–domestic violence. So, good luck to the social workers who will be taking on that job. 

My historical novel: Madness: The War of 1812

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  • My thought exactly, when that social worker tries to deal with a drunk husband holding a knife to his wife’s throat after beating a stepson. Reality meeting academia.

  • Give it a try, Minneapolis, this is what you want. Furlough all cops for two weeks. Only answer 911 calls relating to the Fire Department. See what happens and if you want the cops back.

  • Police serve the community. And they are answerable to the community. In a democracy, the people decide a just salary for the service rendered by the police. The police are given extraordinary power that the community they serve expects to be used with restraint and prudence and proportionate to the danger they confront. The force they use should be tempered by the fact that they are dealing with their fellow human beings. In the end the people should decide what police tactics exceed the bounds of their legal powers.

    The police department absolutely is not an branch of the military..
    And a community served by the police should never be considered a battle space.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Unless, of course, rioters make it a battle space.

  • Like that white guy in Seattle who drove his car into the peaceful demonstrators and then shot one of them.

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