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A Night To Remember

Articles by Justin Podur/Independent Media Institute,

Policing is irrelevant for public safety — but these alternatives are proven to work

Recent protests, catalyzed by the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, call for an end to racist police violence. With their actions, the protesters have also moved beyond many of the stale policing debates of the recent past. Defund, disband, abolish—people who would never have even heard these words in discussions about the police are now seriously considering them.

The breakthroughs in the police debate would not have been possible without the protesters, who have remained steadfast despite being beaten and abused by police everywhere in the United States. But this is not about making a breakthrough in the debate. This is about life and death. To stop police from killing people, 1,000 a year, year after year, changes will have to be made to the system. The protesters will be vindicated only if the changes made are the right ones.

Reform programs will only be successful if they start from the premise that the policing institution has lost its social legitimacy, which it never deserved. Reforms that assume police legitimacy—whether they involve more body cameras, better oversight, a more diverse force, or more prosecution of killers among the police—do not do the ...



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