The case against de­fund­ing Amer­ica’s po­lice de­part­ments

Sentinel & Enterprise - - OPINION - By Daniel Stone-Re­gan

The case for de­fund­ing the po­lice by Black Lives Mat­ter ad­vo­cates will not cure sys­temic racism in the United States. Con­se­quently, it will only ig­nite racial divi­sions, crime, and de­cay in Amer­ica’s black com­mu­ni­ties.

There is no doubt that the har­row­ing deaths of Black vic­tims, such as Ge­orge Floyd, de­serve justice. And, there is no doubt that Amer­ica’s po­lice should un­dergo con­tin­u­ous re­form, as U.S. polic­ing was his­tor­i­cally in­volved in an era of

Jim Crow, slav­ery and seg­re­ga­tion.

Ra­tional move­ments to­ward so­cial justice for Black vic­tims, how­ever, have been un­der­mined by vi­o­lent ri­ots, ar­son­ists and loot­ers of busi­nesses — many of whom em­ploy Blacks — prov­ing time and again that Amer­ica’s po­lice of­fi­cers are needed now more than ever.

De­fund­ing the po­lice will only in­crease rob­beries, gang ac­tiv­ity, homicides, and racial dis­par­i­ties within Amer­ica’s Black com­mu­ni­ties. And, de­fund­ing the po­lice will es­pe­cially en­dan­ger law-abid­ing African Amer­i­cans liv­ing in high crime ar­eas, whom, one should note, are the very peo­ple that call the po­lice when crimes plague their com­mu­nity.

The suc­cess of ‘ bro­ken win­dows polic­ing’ in the 1990s demon­strated his­toric lows in U.S. crime rates, as of­fi­cers were granted free-reign to counter acts of pan­han­dling, graf­fiti, and civil dis­or­der — a few of the many in­di­ca­tors that in­duce crime in so­ci­ety.

De­fund­ing Amer­ica’s law en­force­ment halts any ef­fort to sus­tain ‘ bro­ken win­dows polic­ing,’ which in turn im­per­ils the safety of all in­di­vid­u­als in ev­ery U.S. lo­cale. St. Louis Po­lice

Chief Sam Dot­son coined the ‘Ferguson ef­fect’ — fol­low­ing the 2014 shoot­ing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mis­souri — sug­gest­ing that where po­lice fear an­i­mus from ‘ bro­ken win­dow’ sit­u­a­tions, there be­comes a de­creased pres­ence of law en­force­ment and, as a re­sult, an in­crease in crime.

The egre­gious acts to de­fund the po­lice will not only fur­ther crimes, but also have psy­cho­log­i­cal reper­cus­sions on po­lice of­fi­cers. By cut­ting po­lice salaries, of­fi­cers have lit­tle in­cen­tive to show up for work, or even pick up the phone when a rob­bery or homi­cide oc­curs.

The Direc­tor of the Los An­ge­les Po­lice Pro­tec­tive League claimed in a June 29, 2020 CBS re­port, “Mo­rale is low among rank-and-file Los An­ge­les Po­lice De­part­ment Of­fi­cers.”

Un­for­tu­nately, “Amer­i­can Blacks be­tween the ages of 10 and 43 die of homi­cide at 13 times the rate of whites, ac­cord­ing to the CDC.

Thus, the proof of the eat­ing is in the pud­ding. And, un­til the pop­u­la­tion of African Amer­i­cans liv­ing in high crime ar­eas can prove them­selves to be civil, law-abid­ing cit­i­zens, polic­ing and the main­te­nance of law and or­der must re­main.

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