I mention that I support the police and I get called a racist and a “bootlicker”.
I mention that I understand and realize that there is something inherently wrong within law enforcement and that we NEED to change something in order to fix it and I get called a libtard and a snowflake. (Which is cute, b/c both sides get so offended, so fast it’s almost funny. Almost).
So, I did some research. A LOT of it. Like, days and days worth of it. Here’s a really quick cap on what I found.
DEFUNDING THE POLICE
Defunding the police and disbanding the police are not interchangeable. (Kinda how like ‘protest’ and ‘riot’ aren’t interchangeable words, but we’re not talking about that right now, MOVING ON). One reason people might be calling to defund the police is b/c they hold about $1.8bn (no, that’s not a typo) in military gear. And, to top it off, there’s actually an increase in police killings when towns receive military gear. Actually, it’s 2x the amount.
We still need the police. Police still need the money and they need to have funding in order to do their jobs effectively. But, I don’t think they need tanks and grenade launchers. Also, the idea to defund the police isn’t a new thing, just the slogan is new. It’s been going on for ~20 years. People are just louder now. There’s an organization called “Cure Violence” that teaches people conflict resolution basically. It does go by other names in other cities, but I digress.
In NY there’s a city where this group has been operating and gun violence actually decreased by 37%, compared to cities that didn’t implement this which only decreased by 29% and 17%. HOWEVER. It wasn’t just Cure Violence that made the problem decrease, but also the help of law enforcement (cops) and various social programs. Because again, we still need the police. When shit hits the fan, they will still likely be the first ones there to save your life with no regard for their own (there are more good cops than bad, stfu).
Police do kill more people in the US than in other countries. 33.5 per 10 million doesn’t seem like a lot until you compare it to Canada’s 9.8 per 10 million or Australia’s 8.5 per 10 million. Here have another graph.
MORE GUN VIOLENCE AND MURDER
However, this isn’t necessarily because the police here are meaner or anything. The threats they face here are greater than in other countries. Murder and gun violence are more common in the US. Actually, a study shows that with every 10% increase in gun ownership, an additional 10 officers will be killed at the state level over a 15-year period. (Not saying we should get rid of guns. That’s another conversation). Knowing this, cops will be more likely to use deadly force because deadly force is more likely to be used against them. It’s being stuck between a rock and a hard place.
POLICE AND EDUCATION: A POSITIVE OUTLOOK
Also, did you know that a police officer with a college education is 40% less likely to use force, 40% less likely to lose their jobs over misconduct, and 30% less likely to fire their guns? And, they receive fewer community complaints. They also tend to work more proactively with their communities instead of just being reaction-based. So, it helps build trust between the police and their communities.
MANDATORY DE-ESCALATION TRAINING?
I want to say mandatory de-escalation training may help in the reduction of police violence, but there isn’t enough backed data (that I can find at least) that supports or denies this. Regardless, Trump did issue an executive order that calls for increased training to reduce to the use of excessive violence by the police, so hopefully, we can see a positive outcome on this. But, as it stands right now, there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of information.
I know this isn’t my usual kind of post (not that I’ve been posting lately), but I feel like this needs to be said. I debated for a while as to whether or not I was going to share this beyond my personal social media(s) and decided it was worthwhile.
Any thoughts on these points? Anything to add? Any stories to tell? Let me know in the comments below.
Side note: If you provide me with links from the likes of Fox News or CNN I will not take them seriously unless their claims can be backed up from sources other than a man rambling.