What does Defund The Police mean today, tomorrow and next year? What other options are there?
I'd be willing to bet that the phrase abolish. The police gets a reaction from you. Whether it's a sarcastic, scoff or an enthusiastic cheer I don't know. But it's provocative and that's the point. It sounds total. What about De Fund the police? Maybe. That's a little more palatable, but do you know what it means? Right now Paul say that a majority in both Canada and the United States oppose it at least as a slogan. What about stuff like bias, training and body cameras? Those things have lots of port. We also have lots of research that says they don't actually reform much. So something's gotTa give move. There is vast support and energy right now for real police reform. Nearly all of us agree that police brutality and racism is a huge problem that needs meaningful action. So what happens? What would abolishing or defunding police? Departments actually look like today tomorrow next year five years from now. How can reform advocates get the proper message across to the general public who are spooked by these slogans? And is there anything else something in the middle between superficial measures and massive reform? That could help right now. What can we actually do? To start fixing this. I'm Jordan Heath Rawlings? This is the big story. Monica Bell is an associate professor of law and sociology at Yale and she's going to help explain some of the concepts that are floating around right now hello Monica. Our you I'm very well. Thank you and I'm hoping to wrap my mind around some of the proposals right now for reforming police forces in America but also in Canada to. Why don't we start just by talking a little bit about what is being proposed a? How varied are some of the demands and requests and things being proposed even by mayors of cities, yeah, so the Bulls are extremely varied proposals ranging from probably. Probably the one that's gotten most air time a defunding dismantling than there are also proposals that sound a lot more like things we've heard in the past like body cameras is one that is still being opposed a new by some a mayors and police chiefs are there also reforms being proposed like additional training and Tobias Training and procedural justice, training among certain police departments, so it's really a the full, the full range of proposals. Both new and old are being discussed in this firm moment. Let's start with the most aggressive one and we'll get to de-fund the police in a minute because I gather. That's really complicated, but we've also heard calls to a rate of the police and when people say that, what do they mean and in a world like that? What would replace them? So I WANNA start by making really clear that I don't think I can speak on behalf of the Abolition Movement sure for for many reasons. I think you know I've been reading myself about The calls for prison abolition for about four years, but there are people who've been working on these topics for decades so I, just WanNa acknowledge that, so I think there is a range there's a very wide range of people who call themselves abolitionists right now and so some of those people for some of the I would wager a bear small minority that means dismantling the police right now I think most people who identifies the abolitionists. Would say something else, which is that we should be working toward a world in which we don't need. We don't imagine ourselves needing police prisons, the changing make right now on could lead toward a world in which we use the police less, or it could lead to a world in which we use the police more so as much more about what you imagine as the in point of reform in less about. What we should do. In this current moment so on, and there's a lot of writing that underpins that particular perspective and I think one of the one of the reasons, the conversation by abolitionist really complicated is. In the public discourse people here, wow, abolish the police that sounds outrageous timbre. because. Of course we don't. We're not in a situation where we can actually get rid of the police right now of everywhere. In part because. We don't have alternative institutions that do anything about the crime in safety concerns that people have and those are real right I mean there are you know. People are subjected to violence every day. We need some sort of response to that and so right now the only response we can imagine in the only response that has resources really are are the police. The prisons in the entire kind of criminal legal conflicts like that's what we have on everywhere, but actually you know a lot of the. Literature, on abolition has much has much more embrace of incremental approaches to getting to an end point,