Defund the Police. Has The Time Come?

Anachists often point out the inequities in our country. They advocate the overthrow of our present system rightfully complaining that under it most people don’t get a fair deal. It doesn’t require  being a  – well I used to say “brain surgeon” but after watching Ben Carlson I stopped saying that. Now I say – nuclear physicist to know the top one-fifth of 1% control the wealth and the country itself so they run everything for themselves to the detriment of the great majority of Americans.

The problem that anarchists have is that when you are motivated to inquire of them what do we do after we tear down the present capitalistic system and find ourselves standing there in its ruins  with the question “Now What?”the best answer any of them gives Is that they’ll figure it out once it happens. It’s an answer that appeals to few. Most people want to know what’s going to replace what is essential to them before they give it up. It’s the old story of not buying a pig in the poke,

That’s  precisely the problem with defunding the police. The first thing that should come to mind when someone proposes it is to ask the question “Now What?” It’s not like concomitant with the proposal you have the ability to make the police unnecessary because crime and law breaking will disappear along with the police. It’s just those proposing it will tell us what the plan is to replace the police after it is done as we stand naked to the world without police protection.

One thinks of Sir Thomas More’s Reply to William Roper, “And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ‘round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast. Man’s laws, not God’s! And if you cut them down, and you’re just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then. Yes I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!”

You take away the police and how are you protected from the ill winds that blow no good across our land from coast to coast? Yes this land with our Second Amendment under which more guns were bought during March of this year than any other month in our history when more than two millions guns were sold.

It is not that there aren’t problems with police as witnessed by the murder of George Floyd. It’s the same problem that exists in the FBI that I have complained about over the years. It is the blue wall of silence with its unwritten code of letting fellow police officers do the most evil things but to not protest against it and keep it hidden. It’s an us versus them code of understanding reinforced by the knowledge that to go against the code will result in being ostracized at best, driven from the job, or have one’s self or property damaged.

How then given that do you want to not disband them? First know you cannot change the code. We work around it. Make wearing cameras mandatory. Require every interaction with the public be recorded. Make severe penalties attach to anyone not in full compliance up to job loss, heavy fine and prosecution. Have all recordings reviewed by civilians on a compliance board,

We need our police.  The great majority are good. They have a tough job. We can change their way of doing business without draconian measures. Remember, a spoonful of honey makes the medicine go down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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17 thoughts on “Defund the Police. Has The Time Come?

  1. Change.org

    Willie Simmons has served 37 years in prison for a $9.00 robbery he committed when he was in his 20s. Because Willie had three other nonviolent offenses on his record, a judge ordered a life sentence under Alabama state law. Over 2 million people think this is unacceptable, and that Willie shouldn’t die in prison over $9.00. Makheru started this petition, supporting efforts in Alabama to free Willie Simmons. Add your name to convince Alabama’s governor to commute Willie’s sentence.

    Willie Simmons has served 38 years for a $9 robbery

    2,304,719 have signed Makheru Bradley’s petition. Let’s get to 3,000,000!

    Sign now with a click

    change.org

    In 1982, Army veteran Willie Simmons, was prosecuted under Alabama’s habitual offender law. Mr. Simmons he had three prior convictions, one of which was for grand larceny. He told reporter Beth Shellbure the other two were for receiving stolen property. At the time Mr. Simmons had become addicted to drugs while stationed overseas He was convicted of 1st-degree robbery and sentenced to life without parole for stealing $9. Simmons has spent the last 38 years in prison. This is clearly a case of cruel and unjust punishment. Over the years Mr. Simmons has filed several appeals without any legal assistance. All of his appeals were denied, and based on a 2014 change in Alabama laws, it appears that he has no appeal options left.In the interest of justice Governor Kay Ivey should commute Mr. Simmons sentence.

  2. We are just walking each other home

    Prison Policy Initiative
    The highest-impact state criminal justice reforms that are ripe for victory right now
    by Wendy Sawyer and Peter Wagner

    We’re publishing an excerpt from our new briefing, “A Legislative Guide for Winnable, High-Impact Criminal Justice Reforms,” in today’s newsletter.

    Given the public’s increasing demands for real change to the criminal justice system, we’ve updated and expanded our annual guide for state legislators to reforms that we think are ripe for victory. We’ve curated this list to offer policymakers and advocates straightforward solutions that would have the greatest impacts without further investments in the carceral system. We have focused especially on those reforms that would reduce the number of people confined in prisons and jails — a systemic problem made even more urgent by the COVID-19 pandemic.

    This briefing is not intended to be a comprehensive platform, but rather to address a surprising problem faced by legislators: Each state’s criminal justice system varies so much that it can be difficult to apply lessons from other states to the same problem in one’s own. The laws and procedures are all different, each state collects different data, and often the same words are used to mean very different things in different states, so it’s important to figure out which problems are a priority in your state and which lessons from elsewhere are most useful. For that reason, each item here includes links to more state-level information, the text of model legislation, and/or detailed guidance on crafting a remedy.

    Readers should also note that we made a conscious choice to not include critical reforms that are unique to just a few states, nor important reforms for which we don’t yet have enough useful resources that would make sense in most states. But this guide grows and evolves each year, so we welcome ideas and resources from other state legislators and advocates.

    This guide covers reforms that would:

    End unnecessary jail detention for people awaiting trial and for low-level offenses (below)
    Shorten excessive prison sentences and improve release processes (available online)
    Sentence fewer people to incarceration and make sentences shorter (available online)
    Change the financial incentives that fuel punitive justice system responses (available online)
    Stop probation and parole systems from fueling incarceration (available online)
    Keep criminal justice, juvenile justice, and immigration processes separate (available online)
    Give all communities equal voice in how our justice system works (available online)

    See the complete guide and the other six sections at
    https://www.prisonpolicy.org/blog/2020/06/10/winnable-reforms/.

  3. Paul Mahoney’s comments are “right on” as we hippies phrased our assents in the sixties, and I subscribe fully to them. It’s good and beneficial to share our opinions. Law students learn to argue both sided of an issue, which means, in part, to listen to both sides. We know juries oftentimes have split decisions and appellate courts routinely have split decisions. Reasonable minds disagree. Remember the movie 12 Angry Men; all were angry about something; only one at first dissented from the majority’s guilty view; in time all 12 agreed: the dissenting voice, not the majority’s, carried the day. The 12 voted to acquit. In the great movie, Seven Samurais, the director depicted the way eyewitnesses came to remember things differently, to have different opinions of the same event. Witnesses may see things differently. Viewpoints vary.

    When I started reading Matt’s post what immediately came to mind was Robert Bolt’s play A Man for All Seasons, (Bolt also wrote the screenplay for Doctor Zhivago and Lawrence of Arabia) and then Matt quoted exactly what I would have quoted. In America, we have laws, rules, regulations, and established procedures to amend them. Who created these laws? We the people. Antifa ignores criminal laws and property laws and constitutional laws, thinking it can take by force and impose its will on others. Just like the Bolsheviks did in 1917-21, the Trotsky-Lenin-Stalin crew.
    Antifa, too, like many Leftists today, not only refuses to listen to opposing views, it personally attacks and viciously vilifies those who disagree with its world-vision. It demands that politicians resign, academics be fired, editorial writers be fired, movies be censored, soon books will be banned and authors ostracized or exiled, because, like many leftist-liberals today, and many in the Main Stream Media, it cannot tolerate dissent. Antifa and the Leftist-Liberals have their orthodox views, and opposing views they consider sacrilegious, anathema. Antifa and the Leftist-Liberals are haters of America; they seek to deconstruct it, at best, or disembowel and gut it, at worst. And replace it with what? They cannot say. The Dictatorship of the Proletariat Utopia Uber Alles? Like the Bolsheviks before them, Antifa thinks certain words, certain expressions, certain ideas, certain articles, certain opinions must be banned, purged, academies and offices must be purged, the media must be made to conform to Antifa’s worldview and just like yesteryear’s Stalinists today’s leftists label dissenters as less worthy human beings, deplorables”, rednecks, and soon Antifa and its ilk will be diagnosing dissenters as “sluggish schizophrenics” and sending them to places like Siberia for treatment and reeducation in the correct way of thinking, the new wave: leftist univision; utopian uni-think; Anfita and its leftists allies turn up the loudspeakers to drown out dissent and dumb-down the masses. The dumbing down of America in lefists’ pseudo-intellectual rhetoric and mind-numbing cant.

    Seattle’s downtown has been seized by force by the Antifa Bolsheviks who reportedly are now extorting businesses and individuals to pay tribute; to genuflect, to conform. Cops and Trump supporters are banished.

    Steve Mulcahy, a lifelong friend and lawyer, one of Savin Hill’s finest, recently told me that George Bernard Shaw (Pygmalion from which came “My Fair Lady”, Man and Superman, St. Joan, et alia), the great Irish playwright, observed that all professions adopt an “us versus them” mentality. “A conspiracy against the laity” is his phrase. Unions, especially public service unions, adopt the same “us versus them” mentality.
    Expounding upon Shaw’s phrase “All professions are a conspiracy against the laity” a contributor to the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, J.R. Ashton wrote the following paragraph. (Prelude: an autobiographical aside: After my sophomore year in medical school, I had a ten-week summer (’69) fellowship in community psychiatry at the D.C. General Hospital, before continuing my med studies (69-71) then transitioning full time into public health 72-86 then transitioning again into environmental/public health law ’87-06, then transitioning at last to a most edifying part time job as a gate guard at a major university; a very grateful gate guard who counts his blessings and whittles his time away reading, writing, painting, playing keyboards and walking).

    J.R. Ashton said this about Shaw’s observation:
    “The way in which professions acquire prestige, power and wealth is by taking unto themselves a body of knowledge and expertise and only relinquishing it in doses in exchange for payment. The creation of dependency is an intrinsic part of that process. In contrast, public health should share with the more enlightened types of psychotherapy the desire that individuals and communities should attain, maintain or develop self-sufficiency and sustainability. The term empowerment currently enjoys a popular usage, but this itself can seem patronising if the natural state is the achievement of mastery over the environment by individuals and groups. Striking a style of practice that is respectful of people’s strengths and the gifts that they bring to problem solving is the challenge to all public health practitioners and systems.”

    So, too, today’s public service unions, most notably Police and Teachers Unions, must become more respectful of the persons they serve (the public at large, students in particular and the parents of students and their families, and the police more respectful of the individuals they arrest and the individuals’ families.) (I was always against Public Service Unions but the Supreme Court decided they were constitutional. So, we live with them.) We know many good teachers and many good cops, the vast majority are respectful and provide praiseworthy public service throughout their careers.

    We know too that UNIONS oftentimes prevent bad cops and bad teachers from being fired, suspended or appropriately disciplined.

    There is work to be done in making public schools and public policing better. Working together Americans can improve their educational systems, public safety systems, and public health systems, and restore some objectivity and some balance to today’s severely slanted, ideologically biased, unobjective, depressing Presses and Mainstream Media.

    As far as the top one-half of one percent (one in two hundred people) being very wealthy and owning half of the cash, ask yourself how they got there. By making products and offering services that millions of people freely buy? For example, the guys who invented computers, cable-television, Facebook, good cars, good cosmetics, good motion pictures, good retail stores (like Walmart or Amazon on line), the guts who established good construction companies, good manufacturing companies, et cetera; those same guys who also employ millions of people in good jobs at good wages with good benefits; they have reached the top. Good for them. Thank god for their initiatives, insights, and industry.

    Envy is a sin, like jealousy, like defamation, like anger itself can be a sin. Like unjust wars. Do not let your Envy at Successful People cloud your thinking. Save your justifiable anger for those who misuse the system, those politicians and public servants who ABUSE THEIR POWER. Be grateful for the vast majority of public servants and private sector workers (employers and employees) who do a good, a just job, day in, day out, year in, year out. Be grateful for all our fellow Americans, in the public sector and private sector, who have served honorably and well over the centuries and helped make America the greatest country in human history.

    Light a few candles. Pitch in.

    1. Bill, I think an appropriate reference-along with your own-would be “The Oxbow Incident”. A brilliant, thought provoking work.
      (It is refreshing to see some amity in the ranks.)

      1. Hutch, Amen to amity, brotherhood, fellowship and The Oxbow Incident.”

  4. I agree, Matt. We need the police, but some sensible reforms are necessary. Part of this is simple common sense. Bodycams are a must. Cellphones have already turned America into a nation of cameramen and women. The cops need cameras as well, to give them pause when they’re thinking of crossing the line, and to provide them with powerful evidence when the perp lies about what happened.

  5. Behaviour is Truth

    https://www.mpd150.com/10-action-ideas-for-building-a-police-free-future/

    10 Action Ideas for Building a Police-Free Future
    Imagine that you were asked to help create stability in a newly-founded city. How would you try to solve the problems that your friends and neighbors encountered? How would you respond to crisis and violence? Would your *first* choice be an unaccountable army with a history of oppression and violence patrolling your neighborhood around the clock?

    — from Enough is Enough: A 150-Year Performance Review of the Minneapolis Police Department

  6. Most people don’t get a fair deal? The country is run to the detriment of the majority? Are you talking about Cuba, China and Russia?Totally absurd if applied to America. Household income averages over $60,000. per year. Total wealth prior to covid 19 was over 100 trillion dollars. Almost two thirds own their own house. Everyone has a car. No one lacks for food or clothing. Opportunity exists. Abundance is the order of the day. The Constitution provides Rights and Liberty for all. Envy is not an attractive idea. Bill Gates having 80 billion has no negative impact on an ordinary citizen. The country is not impoverished and no one starves. Reagan use to point out the disaffected calling them a bunch of beatniks, malcontents and filthy speech advocates. If America is not working why are tens of millions trying to get here and no one is leaving?2.Noting is new. It’s just forgotten. We’ve seen this act before. Antifa is the child of the Weather Underground. BLM is the son of the Black Panther party.. Two radical, anarchists groups. 3. PM post is excellent.

  7. Transcending the Tribe
    By Caroline Myss

    All of us are born into a “tribal mentality” of various forms. These include our family unit, religious background, country of origin, ethnicity, etc. The tribal mentality effectively indoctrinates an individual into the tribe’s beliefs, ensuring that all believe the same. The structure of reality – what is and is not possible for the members of the group – is thus agreed upon and maintained by the tribe.

    https://www.rt.com/op-ed/491422-i-my-colleagues-are-quitting-as-us-police-officers/

    ‘You won’t need to abolish us – we won’t be around for it’: Why I and many of my colleagues are quitting as US police officers
    10 Jun, 2020

    “Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day.”
    ― Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

    ‘They don’t belong’: calls grow to oust police from US labor movement

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jun/11/police-unions-american-labor-movement-protest

  8. I just signed up for the Criterion Streaming Channel 2 week free trial
    and started binge watching the great Japanese Director Akira Kurosowa
    Collection of Films starting with the feel good The Seven Samurai.
    I first watched this film at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts in 1968
    when they featured a retrospective of Kurosowa films.

    I was reminded how this narrative of 7 Samurai Mercenaries resembles
    the law enforcement organizational model model of American Law
    Enforcement that hires mercenaries to ostensibly protect the Voter and
    Taxpayer in exchange for money.

    As always we subscribe to the model that says behaviour is Truth.
    Does our model of using mercenaries to protect the public create
    more disorder than the amount of order it brings?

    and yes what to do when the mercenaries turn on you eh?

  9. Change sometimes offers opportunity for improvement.The BPD is in the crosshairs
    now and I am hopeful that there is an effort made by the union and the city to find
    common ground on some current police responsibilities that could be improved upon.
    But the BPD is not the major culprit here. They are not the Minneapolis Police .
    They are better trained and and better educated and are unfairly vilified
    by the mob and the so called press.Shifting focus, how many teachers in the school
    system in Boston are retained due to union protection when they should be long gone.
    How many kids are condemned to a poor education in underperforming schools in
    a department with the lowest enrollment and the biggest budget . How many parents
    attend parent-teachers meetings.How many parents know what their kids are being
    taught or even care.Since the passage of the civil rights act and the explosion of entitlement programs the quality of life for many minorities seems to have regressed.
    What’s the answer? I don’t have one. But I do know one thing. A little less finger pointing
    and some serious introspection is overdue.As Shelby Steele recently said , “A program
    can’t read your child a bedtime story”.

    1. Good post. If people do not believe that our future does not depend on the education of our children, they are wrong.

      1. How is it possible to offer support to the next generation when you entrust them to the likes of Shaun O. Harrison? What kind of vetting was employed during his hiring process. Was that process ever reviewed in light of his attempted murder of one his charges and his incarceration for the next ehirty years?

        1. We still cannot read minds. Doctors of the mind that I have know, about a dozen over the years, are often unstable people. Who vets the veters?

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