The brutality we have repeatedly seen meted out by American police all over the country isn’t a bug of our political-economic system — it’s a feature.
Alex S. Vitale is professor of sociology and coordinator of the Policing and Social Justice Project at Brooklyn College. He is the author of The End of Policing.
The reforms that have been pushed by presidents and police chiefs, mayors and city councils in response to the horrifying, unending stream of blatant police brutality and police murder have failed and will continue failing. The police aren’t going to get any nicer — we must defund them, full stop.
For years we’ve heard about body cameras and bias training to reform the racism and brutality of the police. That won’t cut it. The only way to get better policing is to get less of it — by defunding the police.
If we want to offer children a better future, we need to get the criminal justice system out of their lives.
Body cameras and more training aren’t enough. We need to divert funding for police into funding for human needs.