On a world without police

In the midst of the global Black Lives Matter discussion, many are now learning for the first time about calls for the defunding and abolition of police. Although there is a rich political and philosophical discourse for such calls, still many react to these calls with confusion and the reason why is understandable. As Alex S. Vitale has argued eloquently in his The End of Policing, (a free ebook of which you can find here!) the austere conditions of government over the past decades have effectively made police a one-stop shop for any societal issue. A neighbor experiencing mental distress? Police wellness check. Trouble in schools? Assign police officers. Opioid overdose? Call the police. Broken windows? The police fine for that. Meanwhile, a proliferation of budgeting for police departments has seen ever expanding and hyper militarized police forces exert ever more forceful control over the communities that they are meant to protect.

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