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Articles on Policing

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Police in riot gear stand in a line against protesters next to a message spay painted on the Kenosha County Courthouse in August 2020 after the police shooting of unarmed Black man Jacob Blake. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Force is no substitute for social justice, so let’s dismantle the police

Other agencies or officials can do much of what police do now. So let’s disband police forces and replace them with local community organizations.
Sending in the feds to quell unrest often increases conflict on the ground, as it did this summer in Portland, Ore. Nathan Howard/Getty Images

Federal agents sent to Kenosha, but history shows militarized policing in cities can escalate violence and trigger conflict

Kenosha is the latest US city to see federal agents patrolling its protests. History suggests that supplanting the local police with a militarized national force rarely works out well.
Police involvement is missing persons cases is often necessary. (Eric Ward/Unsplash)

What defunding the police could mean for missing persons

In the absence of serious efforts by mental health centres, shelters and youth group homes to prevent people from running away from their facilities in the first place, police involvement is necessary.
People protest to defund the police in front of Toronto Police Service headquarters on July 16, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)

Rather than defunding the police, politicians are increasing funding for body-worn cameras

Amidst calls to defund the police, political leaders are increasing police budgets, arguing — incorrectly — that increasing police surveillance capacities will help provide accountability.
Research shows that arrests for serious crimes are quite rare. Blake Nissen for The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Police solve just 2% of all major crimes

When police arrest a suspect who is then convicted of the crime, it is a rare exception rather than the rule in the US.
Armed white citizens and police have historically worked together in the U.S., though it’s not clear whether that’s what’s happening here. George Frey/Getty Images

Vigilantism, again in the news, is an American tradition

For many Americans, law and order has long been as much a private matter as something for the government to handle.
This sketch depicts the Waterloo Creek massacre (also known as the Slaughterhouse Creek massacre), part of the conflict between mounted police and Indigenous Australians in 1838. Godfrey Charles Mundy/National Library of Australia

Enforcing assimilation, dismantling Aboriginal families: a history of police violence in Australia

Police played a unique role in many settler colonies executing assimilationist policies designed to dismantle First Nations families.
People walk on the words ‘defund the police’ that was painted in bright yellow letters in downtown Washington, D.C., on June 7, 2020. The death of unarmed Black man George Floyd in Minneapolis sparked worldwide protests against police brutality. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)

Canada should enshrine police body cameras into law

To use body cameras effectively, police need to be guided by law, not policy.
Police forces have a wide range of options for monitoring individuals and crowds. Nicholas Kaeser/Flickr

High-tech surveillance amplifies police bias and overreach

Police forces across the country now have access to surveillance technologies that were recently available only to national intelligence services. The digitization of bias and abuse of power followed.
Bicycle police officers keep an eye on Trinity Bellwoods Park in Toronto on Sunday, May 24, 2020. Warm weather and a reduction in COVID-19 restrictions has many looking to the outdoors for relief. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

99% of Ontario’s funding for community safety and well-being pads police budgets

The provincial government has funding to support non-police safety and well-being initiatives — but 99 per cent of it just supplements police budgets.
Malaysia Hammond, 19, places flowers at a memorial mural for George Floyd at the corner of Chicago Avenue and 38th Street on May 31, 2020, in Minneapolis. (John Minchillo/AP Photo)

What it takes to record a Black person’s death

Recording and bearing witness to a Black person's death from police violence is in itself traumatizing.

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