Three Measures Against Racist Policing

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 2134 ... June 29, 2020

Three Measures Against Racist Policing

April M. Short

Protesters against police brutality and racism have gathered to demand systemic change since the end of May, holding events in all 50 US states and around the world. Impelled by the police murder of George Floyd on May 25, the protests amplify a long-standing call by social justice organizations, Black civil rights leaders like Angela Davis and many others for decades: dismantle, defund and/or abolish America’s racist and heavily militarized policing systems -- and replace them with community-led safety programs and public health initiatives. The movement’s leadership has made it clear that the protests, many of which have been non-violent due to community participation, are calling for more than updates to existing police training programs or reforms within existing police departments. Rather, they are calling for America to rethink the response to crime and safety overall. They are calling for cities to reallocate funding away from police and begin the steps to gradually dismantle the policing system altogether, as Eric Levitz writes in a recent New York... Magazine article.

The police response to the protests against police brutality in many cities has been markedly, and ironically, brutal, as is discussed in detail in a recent article by Adam Gabbatt in The Guardian. Many videos and reports from recent protests show police using violent force against peaceful protesters. Dounya Zayer spoke with Democracy Now! about the police officer who violently pushed her to the ground when she was peacefully protesting, which she said resulted in a concussion and a trip to the hospital. Across the US, police have arrested more than 10,000 protesters and have repeatedly attacked journalists covering the protests, including Linda Tirado, who has been partially blinded after the police shot her with a foam bullet in the eye.

Meanwhile, the protests are successfully pushing officials across the country to respond in some tangible ways. Cities, counties, states and some police precincts across the nation are implementing changes, small and large, and the moment has brought the deep-seated problems of the policing systems into the mainstream conversation.

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