Blackspot

Blackspot the Police

Can we stop the increasing militarization of our communities through a movement to de-fund the police?

Byron Hammick, Kendra James, James Jahar Perez, James Philip Chasse, Amadou Bailo Diallo, Julian Alexander, Bobby Tolan, Oscar Grant and Alexandros Grigoropoulos. These are the names of innocent, unarmed individuals executed without a trial by police officers (source). Of course, the list is not exhaustive and shootings seem to be occurring with greater frequency as police departments become increasingly militarized. There is even talk of developing softer handcuffs that can be used on children as young as five years old (source). The death of Alexandros Grigoropoulos in Athens sparked riots as did the videotaped execution of Oscar Grant in Oakland, CA. But while riots may relieve the anger of the moment, they also function to justify increasing police budgets. What if we took a different tactic and blackspotted the police by building a movement to de-fund the police and replace them with community safety patrols.

Let's take the example of Oakland, California where Oscar Grant was lying on his stomach, restrained by police officers and then shot and killed. The whole incident was caught on tape (see video below) so there is little dispute as to the facts of the case. Oakland currently spends around $194 million on police services and their total budget is a little under $950 million (source). That is about four times as much as is spent on Libraries, Parks and Museums combined. The police budget is an amazing 20% of the entire Oakland budget! In these times of economic depression, de-funding the police would directly translate into an increase of funding for the types of community quality of life improvements that decrease crime.

While we de-fund the police and pour that money into community improvement projects, we can also work to make the police unnecessary by replacing them with a Blackspot Police. Obviously a Blackspot Police would share very little in common with the State's police but would instead work to supercede the police by becoming the community's first responders. This would be something akin to the Guardian Angels who patrol "dusk until dawn, without weapons, [...] to ensure that citizens can enjoy their communities without fearing for their safety" (source). The objective would be to demonstrate that the police are overfunded and their presence is antagonistic and violent.

What have your experiences with the police been? Could a movement to de-fund work in your city?

Micah M. White is a Contributing Editor at Adbusters Magazine and an independent activist. www.micahmwhite.com

Adbusters 111 Cover

On Newsstands December 3

At last we’re in Winter. It’s the year 2047. A worn scrapbook from the future arrives in your lap. It offers a stunning global vision, a warning to the next generations, a repository of practical wisdom, and an invaluable roadmap which you need to navigate the dark times, and the opportunities, which lie ahead.

Subscribe to Adbusters Magazine

50 comments on the article “Blackspot the Police”

Displaying 31 - 40 of 50

Page 4 of 5

Virindi

Seattle 1919 1/3 of the population of Seattle went on strike shutting down the city of Seattle for a week. In an effort to maintain life and "order", workers unions came together and organized to provide for the needs of the city. Kitchens were opened up, city power was ran, hospitals remained active, and the workers organized themselves as peace keepers. Armed with only a white ribbon and the powers of persuasion they were responsible for maintaining crime in Seattle. The result? Crime in Seattle during this week, when everyone expected riots and looting, actually went down!

Virindi

Seattle 1919 1/3 of the population of Seattle went on strike shutting down the city of Seattle for a week. In an effort to maintain life and "order", workers unions came together and organized to provide for the needs of the city. Kitchens were opened up, city power was ran, hospitals remained active, and the workers organized themselves as peace keepers. Armed with only a white ribbon and the powers of persuasion they were responsible for maintaining crime in Seattle. The result? Crime in Seattle during this week, when everyone expected riots and looting, actually went down!

Kilroy

Its sad knowing that the cop in the video hadn't gotten full justice, if any legal action. There's just some things in this world that deserve the death penatly.

Kilroy

Its sad knowing that the cop in the video hadn't gotten full justice, if any legal action. There's just some things in this world that deserve the death penatly.

keith

Thankfully some glimmer of justice has emerged in this case. The officer who executed Oscar Grant, Johannes Mehserle, was arrested on charges of homicide in Nevada on January 12th.

keith

Thankfully some glimmer of justice has emerged in this case. The officer who executed Oscar Grant, Johannes Mehserle, was arrested on charges of homicide in Nevada on January 12th.

SPFLDnet

Springfield, Illinois now has "Danger Dumpster!" A dumpster painted red to indicate possible drug activity in the area, with built-in remote control camera. http://www.sj-r.com/news/x1434777751/Trash-bin-alerts-neighborhood-of-drug-house

SPFLDnet

Springfield, Illinois now has "Danger Dumpster!" A dumpster painted red to indicate possible drug activity in the area, with built-in remote control camera. http://www.sj-r.com/news/x1434777751/Trash-bin-alerts-neighborhood-of-drug-house

Carol Anne Knapp

Whoa, that was intense, I have been on both sides of police actions, when they have been fabulous and when they have not. The police can not be allowed to police themself......at any time! The military style of structure must be discarded and a new system put in place, that strictly limits who carries a weapon and who does not, they should definitely not all be armed. I have many cops in my family and there are a few that I would think twice about logic of why they became a cop in the first place. I also think the force should reach out to people in other professions who do an outstanding job and offer them positions as consultants and even unarmed suprervisors. There are many reasonable and logical solutions.

Carol Anne Knapp

Whoa, that was intense, I have been on both sides of police actions, when they have been fabulous and when they have not. The police can not be allowed to police themself......at any time! The military style of structure must be discarded and a new system put in place, that strictly limits who carries a weapon and who does not, they should definitely not all be armed. I have many cops in my family and there are a few that I would think twice about logic of why they became a cop in the first place. I also think the force should reach out to people in other professions who do an outstanding job and offer them positions as consultants and even unarmed suprervisors. There are many reasonable and logical solutions.

Pages

Add a new comment

Comments are closed.