From Pine View Farm

Immunity Impunity 0

At the Boston Review, Tracey L. Meares notes that a small but vocal movement has concluded that American policing is so broken that it must be abolished and consider their arguments.

She traces the history of U. S. police forces back to Southern slave patrols and notes the many instances, some noted in these electrons, of random police killings of unarmed civilians and of police forces’ refusal to hold their killers responsible (or, to put it another way, police administrations’ willfully aiding and abetting felony murder), then moves on to consider possible remedies. I commend the article to your attention.

Here’s a bit:

In 2015 I had the honor of serving on President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, along with a diverse group of ten other Americans drawn from police leadership, law, social justice initiatives, and NGOs. We created a document detailing fifty-nine recommendations to build trust and legitimacy in policing while continuing to advance public safety. Many of those recommendations focused on better training of police, attention to community policing, caring for the most vulnerable, focusing on officer safety and wellness, and ensuring accountability and oversight of police. In some ways the recommendations seem workaday or even anodyne. But in reality even the most basic among them—such as a recommendation that agencies be honest about their past, acknowledging “the role of policing in past and present injustice and discrimination and how it is a hurdle to the promotion of community trust”—has proven to be incredibly difficult for many if not most agencies. Further steps, such as holding officers criminally accountable for killing unarmed civilians, seem almost impossible.


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