Protestors and left-leaning politicians are calling for the defunding of police departments in cities across the nation. In Minneapolis, where riots over the death of George Floyd first broke out, the majority of city council members promised to disband the police department altogether. City Council President Lisa Bender said they vow to “to end policing as we know it and recreate systems that actually keep us safe.” Other major cities including LA and NY have announced plans to cut police department funding.
Many on the left are in support of disbanding or defunding the department. Whether the solution would be reallocating funds or dissolving the department altogether, Yale University doctoral candidate of sociology and political writer Philip McHarris said that black people don’t rely on or trust police officers and don’t see them as protectors. The Left argues that instead of the police department receiving funds, programs including mental health and domestic violence services that actually benefit the black community should receive that money; instead of armed officers responding, mental health workers and social advocates should take their place. CNN reported that a study done in 2017 showed that crime decreased with decreased New York Police Department presence during a several week period.
Defund the police. Starve departments of money til they *have* to fire their most violent, who cost them the most money. Make precincts pay up for the damage cops inflict, not taxpayers. Take away all their li’l military toys, which they don’t even have training to use properly.— N. K. Jemisin (@nkjemisin) June 5, 2020
The Right doesn’t support defunding or disbanding police departments. The National Republican Congressional Committee spokesperson Michael McAdams asked, “What’s next? The Fire Department?” An article posted by City-Journal pointed to the evidence of the drastic decrease in murder rates in NYC, as well as decreased incarceration rates, since police departments implemented Broken Windows policing, which is the philosophy of stopping minor crime in an effort to hinder major crime. The Right agrees that institutional issues do need to be addressed, but believes that means “more training and more accountability, which means more funding and more oversight.” Some have noted that the liberal dream of a utopian society is unattainable:
“We can pump money into all sorts of programs, but human nature will not change. And if you eliminate the hand that keeps human nature in check, otherwise known as law enforcement, we will collapse into anarchy, and every single one of humanity’s worst instincts will run rampant.”Kaylee McGhee