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Cities Reimagine Public Safety Amid Calls to #DefundPolice

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/06/13/cities-reimagine-public-safety-amid-calls-defundpolice


“Defund the police” should be an easy concept for our neoliberal penny-pinchers to understand, since they’ve ruthlessly applied it to almost every other line item in the budget, except cops, prisons and the military.

I’ll never forget this from Obama on Colin Kaepernick’s quiet and dignified protests agains police shootings and I hope you won’t either: “Kapernick needs to think about the pain he’s causing military families.” It really distills the whole Obama experience for me.

Very Good People Alert, Tulsa Edition…Tulsa Police Department Maj. Travis Yates told a Tulsa talk radio host this week that police probably weren’t shooting enough black people: “All of the research says we’re shooting African-Americans about 24% less than we probably ought to be, based on the crimes being committed.”

– Jeffrey St. Clair

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Video of Biden on his Crime Bill
claiming how he is ‘tough on crime’ (from the 1990s)


AS calls for defunding the police sweep the country to reduce police power, we need to keep our eyes on moves like this,

“In Los Angeles, Mayor Eric Garcetti vowed to cut as much as $150 million that had been part of a planned increase in the police departments budget after activists rallied outside his home.”

IMO this is not defunding the police, just not increasing their budget, a increase they didn’t need in the first place. Not good enough Mayor, and sounds like you just wanted to stop the protesting at your home. The people of Los Angeles should demand much more.

Any calls to defund the police need to include information on whether it should be complete defunding, and therefore ending any control of crime, or partial defunding, with the money redistributed to other groups. Otherwise, expect many politicians to make speeches in reply that assume that EVERYONE thinks it is the less desirable of the two.

especially anyone actually hoping to be elected has to be careful about language, but they should be expected to support some level of reallocation of funds, greater diversity in the police to build a more inclusive culture there, drug decriminalization, accountability when a cop does something bad. Providence RI has made some good strides in reforming its once notorious corrupt police, and though the crime rate has dropped significantly, there are still drunk drivers and accidents, soe late night violence when the clubs close, domestic abuse calls, auto thefts…and state law backed by police unions still makes it hard to get rid of dangerous cops. In white suburbs here there is mostly support for police reform but not for elimination

As Calls to Defund the Police Grow Louder, Joe Biden Wants to Give Them More Money

What a great opportunity to deal directly with the root cause of crime in American cities. I think a lot of these issues overlap.

Here is one. Drug Overdose Deaths

In 2018, 67,367 drug overdose deaths occurred in the United States. The age-adjusted rate of overdose deaths decreased by 4.6% from 2017 (21.7 per 100,000) to 2018 (20.7 per 100,000). Opioids—mainly synthetic opioids (other than methadone)—are currently the main driver of drug overdose deaths. Opioids were involved in 46,802 overdose deaths in 2018 (69.5% of all drug overdose deaths).1 Two out of three (67.0%) opioid-involved overdose deaths involve synthetic opioids.2

In 2018, the states with the highest rates of death due to drug overdose were West Virginia (51.5 per 100,000), Delaware (43.8 per 100,000), Maryland (37.2 per 100,000), Pennsylvania (36.1 per 100,000), Ohio (35.9 per 100,000), and New Hampshire (35.8 per 100,000).1


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