Defunding the police is not radical

Defunding+the+police+is+not+radical

Cartoon created by Jane Bachus

Nathan Sundell, Opinion Writer

After the death of George Floyd in May, protests against the ongoing issue of police brutality have been held all across the country, some still going strong months later They have rallied around one central message: defund the police.

Right wing figures have seemed to latch on to this idea with the same fear mongering approach they attack most common sense ideas with. 

They claim that the movement is a move to set violent criminals free or to remove any defenses the law abiding people have. This shows the lack of understanding of what the movement is.

While defunding the police to the unknowing sounds like eliminating them altogether, that is not at all the actual nuance of the issue. 

Police funds often go to their supplies and weapons they use on the job. Police forces, especially in big cities, often have high capacity assault rifles and even tanks.

 When the police obtain weapons that are military grade, they often see the public as an opposing country they are at war with, instead of the people they are supposed to protect.

It’s not just the weapons either. There are many training workshops throughout the US where a man walks onto stage to rant about how the people in the streets are animals and you have to not be afraid to shoot someone when the time needs it. Why must we rely on protection from individuals who are taught that we are the enemy?

Some claim the police need the budget they receive because they believe their job is dangerous and it is a job not a lot of people can do. This argument may have held some weight if police casualties were not as low as they are.

 Currently, there are more delivery driver casualties than cop casualties per year, not to even mention jobs like loggers and electricians where the casualty rate dwarfs the police rate.

Their training is also surprisingly and worryingly easy, where police academy training is approximately four months, compared to most jobs these days require college degrees that usually take four years to get, 12 times the length of a police academy.

And for the people who claim defunding the police is radical, why is it standard to defund public schools and healthcare as the United States has done for years, but the police are off limits? 

Statistics from the United States census show that better education reduces crime significantly, so if some of the bloated police budget went to schools instead there would be far less crime to worry about.

Defunding the police is not radical. We should invest more dollars into providing services to better communities instead of locking up the people who make up those communities.

 So, I beg that anyone who can should be fighting in the streets, so maybe one day America will be helping to grow American minds, instead of blowing them out in the street.