City budgets are gutted by #COVID19
Simple solution: slash police budgets. That would give most municipalities enough to cover everything else plus reduce and eliminate police brutality (and the inherent civil lawsuit costs) in that jurisdiction. Win Win.
There are two precursors for police in America: 1) private security forces hired by the rich to protect their (and only their) property; 2) slave patrols created to chase down, capture, torture, and return slaves to their “owners” with a lesson that was designed to prevent other slaves from even trying to run away. (And, hey, if they “accidentally” captured a free Black person in the process, dragged them to a slave state, and sold them on the auction block when they discovered they didn’t actually have an “owner”? There were no repercussions but there was profit.)
Police reform has been tried. Demands to reform just the Minneapolis police specifically have been ongoing for at least five years. There has been lots of training for police departments across the country. It hasn’t changed outcomes. Police ignore the training, don’t internalize it, refuse to take it, or go and take “warrior” training (banned in Minneapolis, but still taken by the cops there) which “espouses a ‘killology’ vision of law enforcement “.
The solution for municipalities and counties is the same thing we need at the federal level. Take all the money being poured into military (aka cops) budgets and put those into social programs that provide people with housing, medical care (including treatment for dental care, mental health, and addiction), food, and education instead of treating the absence of housing, mental health illnesses, addiction/drug possession, etc. as crimes that you hand over to the police to handle — police who are not qualified or trained to manage any of those problems.
Defunding/abolishing the police would free up enough funds (especially because we no longer would need to pour massive amounts of money into housing and guarding “criminals” or buying for military-grade equipment) to create small, crime solving-forces to investigate rapes, murders, assaults.