It’s Time To Defund The Police
Whether You Like It Or Not, Something Has To Change
So this happened, and it got me thinking…where are all the think pieces on this particular cop and his behavior? Well there won’t be, because the answer is people — specifically Black people — are constantly writing about violence and how cops are extra violent when it comes to Black folk and women, so why should this one instance matter?
What’s the point of putting police violence on the record if we’re not talking about it? How many of you prim and propers wrote emails and blog posts about this cop putting his hands on a female police officer? Oh, you didn’t hear about it? Well, you have now, what’s your excuse?
All of you who want to talk about Will’s one moment in 20+ years of violence have nothing to say? Especially the white folk? I’m frustrated and angry. America used to be the place I wanted to visit and maybe even live in since I was a child.
I was sold on the American dream as a child, but as an adult, it’s become a Nightmare.
More and more I’m seeing police violence in America and the only response I’m seeing is “Defund the Police” but what does that actually mean? Well, I’ve done my research, and here’s what I’ve come up with in terms of how that might look.
- More money on mental health and after-school programs.
Too many kids are getting into drugs and gangs because they feel like they have no hope, and even though we as adults know that gang life is hopeless, when you’re a kid you’ll look for anything that gives you a sense of belonging. Even and especially if that belonging comes with friends, family, and a sense of danger — read adventure.
- More money for hospitals and care homes
Many of our sick and elder people are suffering because they aren’t getting the help they need, money taken away from the police budget could go to these areas instead of police and we could make a real difference in their lives, adding to our society instead of taking from it.
- Money in the police budget could go to diversity, sensitivity, and mental health and wellness training.
Here’s another one, instead of being sensitive this cop is laughing, harassing, and going out of her way to make a difficult situation worse, resulting in the woman with mental health issues becoming a victim of police violence.
A better trained, more caring, and sensitive cop could have gotten that woman out of the bathroom much quicker, in a much safer way. Hell, I could have gotten her out.
Better trained cops make for better-trained humans in the field who can help when they get called for mental health wellness checks.
In my time dealing with cops when I’ve had an episode, I’ve had to do the work of explaining what is happening which makes it 10 times harder for me to deal with my symptoms.
Having police who know what it looks like when someone is having a mental health episode is exponentially helpful in ensuring a safer outcome for everyone involved.
We don’t talk about what Defund the Police looks like because I don’t think that we’ve had time to sit down and really think about it, but when you do, it makes a lot more sense to defund the police and support the community than not to.
Supporting the community means clean water, safe schools and neighborhoods, fewer guns in the community, and more support for the families who need that extra burst of connection and community.
It means more support for families with children or youth who are deaf, differently-abled, or in need of extra educational support due to a variety of genetic, mental, emotional, or physical support needs.
The problem with cops like the one in the video above is that there are too many of them, and while we assume that cops screen for behaviors such as the ones above, either their screening process isn’t working well enough or it’s working too well.
Cops who can’t reign in their anger are a danger to society and to themselves, and more than likely the people that are closest to them, but we don’t want to believe that because too many of the people who surround us want to believe that cops are the good guys.
Cops are trained to defend against violence, they see all kinds of horrendous things every day and every night, and they react to all situations with an equal amount of violence when they are afraid, the problem is they aren’t taught how to de-escalate a situation until it’s too late.
And then we accept their version of truth too often even when their body camera footage tells us that what they say happened, isn’t the same as what actually happened.
It’s enough already. How many women and children, Black folk, in particular, need to be put in danger before we start to realize that cops are a part of the problem and whether they like it or not, it’s our responsibility to help them be better, at whatever the cost might be?
Surely the cost of training healthier cops is a much better idea than saving up for a funeral in case it’s your child?
Sending all my love
Devon J Hall