FACTS

    Violent crime is surging at alarming rates in cities across the US. In New York, homicides are up 23% from this same time last year – 39% in Chicago, 57% in Philadelphia, and 95% in Milwaukee. “I have never seen that much of an increase ever,” said Professor Christopher Herrmann of John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Both sides are grappling with what the causes are and what measures should be taken.

    RIGHT

    The right believes that police reform is needed but argues that less police results in more crime. It was noted that “one feature of our current politics is how quickly bad events trigger a rush to bad policies,” referring to current calls to abolish or defund the police.

    “The prospect of defunding and or dismantling police forces across the country is one of the most unwise [and] irresponsible proposals by American politicians in our nation’s history…I also believe that it’s a reactionary measure that can and will result in short and long-term damage to American society, particularly in our inner city and urban communities.”

    Darrel Scott, Pastor of New Spirit Revival Center in a statement to the House of Representatives

    Jacqueline B. Helfgott, director of the Seattle University Criminal Justice Department, said that defunding the police will “wreak havoc…on communities of color,” noting that the rich will simply hire their own security and poor neighborhoods will be left to fend for themselves.

    LEFT

    The Left disagrees. One ACLU article reads, “Policing in this country evolved from slave patrols. It has never been a neutral institution.” Many believe that police departments should be defunded and those funds should be redirected to other government programs and social services. It is argued that the US needs to focus “on the root causes of crime, like poverty, substance abuse and disparities in criminal justice,” rather than greater policing measures in an attempt to control the aftermath of such issues. The Left is calling for drastic reductions and changes in policing, saying that the “current system of policing in most cities is reactive, not proactive.”

    “It isn’t just brutality or racism that erodes faith in law enforcement in these neighborhoods — it’s ineffectiveness, too…Too often, they’ve seen police fail to serve them in their own neighborhoods.”

    Rod Brunson, dean and professor at Rutgers University School of Criminal Justice-Newark
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