The tragedy surrounding George Floyd’s death has brought police brutality to the forefront of American society with activists and civilians looking towards defunding the police as a solution.
Police increasingly have been compared to that of the military. According to online media outlet, Vox (June 25), by Madeline Marshall, “Why America’s police look like soldiers,” Marshall said, “Over several decades, as part of the war on drugs, the implemented policies intended to bring law enforcement and the military closer together.”
Defunding the police harshly could cause problems down the line.
“There are issues with defunding the police entirely,” Joshua Savage ‘21 said. “Police have to deal with a public that has easy access to military style weapons, so of course they need to be able to respond to accordingly to any situation.”
Police have taken on various roles which one would not expect highly trained officers to be doing. According to media outlet, The Atlantic, (June 11), by Derek Thompson, “Unbundle the Police,” Thompson said, “The roles of warrior cop, traffic patroller and tax collector are bound up in a way that practically guarantees a large number of violent encounters between armed police and civilians.”
The police being defunded would mean communities would have cash that could be put into programs that focus on a specific issue.
“The police should be defunded at the very least,” Kaela Esquivel ‘23 said. “Our governments can then put those funds into mental health services, social services, schools, low-income communities and helping the homelessness, instead of just making the police do all the oddball jobs.”
Defunding the police could help improve public perception of them, as well as improve their mindset. According to the website, Pogo, (June 9), an article by Wayne McEllrath and Sarah Tuberville, “Poisoning Our Police: How the Militarization Mindset Threatens Constitutional Rights and Public Safety,” they wrote, “Law enforcement agencies that use military equipment, officers are more likely to display violent behavior and are more likely to kill the civilians they are supposed to protect.”
Police being defunded could decrease the amount of times citizens have to deal with cops.
“The reallocation of funds for police would not end police brutality where it exists,” Jeffery Lopo, history teacher, said. “It will hopefully help underfunded programs to play a bigger part in the community’s locations where police are not as well adapted for. Police should be trained to use more conflict de-escalation techniques when possible as opposed to lethal force on civilians.”