NATIONAL UNREST: Will defunding the police solve their brutality issue?

Grady Dillon:

Defunding the police is by far the stupidest proposal anyone has ever come up with. I have heard some idiotic ideas before in the past, but this is the most outrageous of them all.

On June 7, the Minneapolis City Council passed a veto-proof decision to not only defund their city’s police department, but to dismantle them entirely. This is not the proper solution to the problem. It was not racism that led to George Floyd’s death. It was corruption.

What happened to Floyd is inhumane and despicable. The way former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin treated him is disgraceful and inexcusable. The phrase “Innocent until proven guilty” clearly does not apply in this case, as it is obvious Chauvin is guilty of murdering Floyd. Everyone has a right to be angry about what he did. This does not mean we need to get rid of the police as a whole.

Floyd was a career criminal, his worst charge being assault and robbery against a pregnant woman in 2007, for which he served five years in prison. Though he wasn’t armed the day he died, he was still a violent felon. Floyd was high on multiple amphetamines and tried to make a purchase at a shop with a fake 20 dollar bill. The store owner called the police on him after observing his strange behavior. While the police had every right to show up and arrest Floyd, their methods were unwarranted and improper.

Prior to Floyd’s death, Chauvin had 17 offenses on his record. The Minneapolis Police Department marked 16 of them as “Closed with No Discipline.” The only “Closed with Disciplined” case simply had two letters of reprimand. In other words, two slaps on the wrist. Chauvin should have been fired over a decade ago. The fact he was still a police officer up until Floyd’s death is shocking.

If the Minneapolis Police Department held their own officers accountable, Chauvin would not have ever been there. This is where corruption killed Floyd. We do not need to remove the police department to solve this issue. We need reform. We need to establish a better way for officers to hold themselves accountable so nothing like this ever happens again. We need better police officers and a better system for them.

Getting rid of the police will only create more problems. These unclear alternative public safety methods will never live up to the safety and protection police departments provide. Every day, they go out and put their own lives on the line for people they thought would be grateful for them. It turns out, they have been wasting their time helping people who need it the most. Nobody will be there when they are in an emergency and they call 911. At least, not until other methods are established.

Reform police departments. Do not dismantle. More problems will arise if such a thing happens. We need officers to hold other officers accountable. Police officers are essential. Getting rid of them would be an overly counterproductive thing to do.


Angel Samsuhadi:

There is no reason for the public to continue using taxpayers’ money to fund a system that can not protect them.

The police force is one of the most corrupt and racially biased systems in America. Its intentions are to assist the white majority with minority labor.

A common misconception is that the 13th Amendment ended all forms of slavery. In reality, it only moved slavery away from public eyes.

The 13th Amendment states that slavery and involuntary servitude shall be illegal except in instances as punishment for crime. This loophole allows for the corruption we see today in America’s prison system and police force.

After slavery ended, the U.S. government continued to create new ways to oppress African Americans including voter literacy tests, Jim Crow laws and redlining. Now, we are living in an era of mass incarceration and police brutality.

According to the United States General Accounting Office, the average inmate makes only 20 to 45 cents per hour. The goal of imprisonment is not rehabilitation, but profit. Privatized prisons make millions of dollars off their inmates nearly free labor.

Many corporations and politicians invest in privatized prisons, which makes law and order seem appealing to those in power. The more inmates there are, the more profit is created.

The sickening idea of profit over people triggered the war on drugs, which intentionally targeted African American communities. Black people are overpoliced and charged harsher than white people in order to destabilize black communities and make them vulnerable to poverty and crime.

Once again, black bodies are used for financial gain. Police brutality and mass incarceration is a deeply racial issue because the police are using black people as scapegoats.

When black people start disappearing into prisons, nobody bats an eye. If white people were to be imprisoned at the same rate, someone would sound the alarm.

Police are the aggressors that enable modern-day oppression. Officers walking free despite complaints of assault and murder sends a message to the American people, telling them their government cares more about money than their freedom.

Instead of funding a police force that only pushes colored communities further into a cycle of poverty and crime, funding should be redistributed toward things that can mend racial divisions. Investing in education, small businesses and proper housing will decrease rates of crime and poverty before criminalization ever will.