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)
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
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.
Trust, accountability and communication are key.
Police involvement is missing persons cases is often necessary.
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)
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
When police arrest a suspect who is then convicted of the crime, it is a rare exception rather than the rule in the US.
Protestors demonstrated against police brutality in Montréal, on June 7, 2020.
Around the world, policing — as an institution — is being challenged. But calls to defund the police will fall short if they do not address the history of policing.
There has been some progress on judicial reform in Australia since the protests began, but structural change requires a truth-telling process and a real commitment from government for action.
Facial recognition algorithms will always make mistakes. But how can we make them less discriminatory?
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
For many Americans, law and order has long been as much a private matter as something for the government to handle.
A police tactical team in Ferguson, Mo., responds to 2014 protests against a white officer’s killing of Michael Brown, a young Black man.
AP Photo/Jeff Roberson
Giving police military gear doesn't reduce crime or keep officers safer – but it does hurt citizens' trust of the police, and for good reason.
As a former NZ Police sergeant, I know firsthand how police fatalities shape one's behaviour. The recent shooting of two officers in Auckland cuts to the heart of NZ's trust-based policing policies.
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
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)
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.
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
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)
Recording and bearing witness to a Black person's death from police violence is in itself traumatizing.
Chicago Tribune/TNS/Sipa USA
The call to defund the police forces us to reconsider our priorities: more police and prisons or investments in social housing, mental health services, domestic violence and family support programs?
Anti-racism demonstrators take a knee near Toronto Police Headquarters during a march, June 6, 2020.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
There is no good police versus bad police. Police are police. They are the states' organ of repression. There are a myriad of better scenarios than the current one.
The death of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer has sparked widespread outrage.
John Rudoff/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Half a century after the federal government voided Jim Crow laws, the criminal justice system still discriminates against African Americans.