Defunding the police
The mission of the Racial Justice Ministry is to “raise awareness and understanding of and engagement with racial identity and racism, including our individual and collective opportunities to achieve racial justice.” This document is intended to raise awareness and understanding of defunding the police by providing a collection of print and video resources.The resources are divided into three groups: (1) what is systemic racism, (2) the history of systemic racism, and (3) overcoming systemic racism. As you consider the issue of defunding the police, consider these questions:
- Imagine that you have a son, daughter, grandson, or granddaughter who is or wants to be a police officer. How would you feel? What would you say to them?
- How would you describe the primary role or responsibility of the police in your community? What do you think the primary role or responsibility of the police should be?
- What tasks or types of situations should the police be responsible for? Are there tasks that police are uniquely qualified for? What tasks or types of situations should the police not be responsible for?
- For any city or county government, decisions must be made about how to allocate limited budgets. If your city or county allocates less money to the police, where do you think that money should be allocated?
A dictionary definition of “defund” is “to withdraw financial support from, especially as an instrument of legislative control. The purpose of defunding the police is to “produce systemic change that previous, incremental efforts have not yielded” including allocating money for services related to issues such as homelessness, addiction, mental health, and education (note 1).
- Note 1: What does it mean to “defund the police”? Trending words in the news about policing. https://www.dictionary.com/e/what-does-it-mean-to-defund-the-police-trending-words-in-news-about-policing/
- Andrew, Scottie (2020). There’s a growing call to defund the police. Here’s what it means. CNN, June 17,2020. https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/06/us/what-is-defund-police-trnd/index.html
- Bates, Joisah and Vick, Karl (2020) The police are a broken legacy of a racist system and tasked with work they are not trained to do. Time, August 17, 2020. https://time.com/5876318/police-reform-america/
- Michaels, Samantha (2020). Whose Streets? Mother Jones. September/October, 2020. https://www.motherjones.com/crime-justice/2020/07/oakland-ceasefire-shootings-murder-rate-social-services-life-coach-boston-miracle-thomas-abt-david-kennedy-cat-brooks/
- ProCon.Org (2020). Defund the police – Top 3 pros and cons. June 3, 2020. https://www.procon.org/headlines/defund-the-police-top-3-pros-and-cons/
- Starr, Terrell Jermaine (2020). Defund the police explained … for the last time. The Root. July 1, 2020. https://www.theroot.com/defund-the-police-explained-for-the-last-time-1844236393
- Yglesias, Matthew (2020). Growing calls to “defund the police,” explained. Vox, June 3, 2020. http://Yglesias, Matthew (2020). Growing calls to “defund the police,” explained. Vox, June 3, 2020.
- Zerkel, Mary (2020). 6 reasons why it’s time to defund the police. American Friends Service Committee, News & Commentary, June 4, 2020. https://www.afsc.org/blogs/news-and-commentary/6-reasons-why-its-time-to-defund-police
- Investing Latina Today (2020). Defunding police – explained with pros and cons. Video – 10:31. https://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?fr=mcafee&p=defund+police+pro+and+cons#id=1&vid=91ff2a72ed40f3784ec288965da4b330&action=view
- Noah, Trevor (2020). The Daily Social Distancing Show. What does it mean to defund or abolish the Police? Video – 22:13. https://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?fr=mcafee&p=defund+police+explained#id=50&vid=2f5fd6dba8fd6d03b7c9007bcdc6ec82&action=view
- NPR Throughline (June 4, 2020). American police. (audio podcast – 1:04). https://www.npr.org/2020/06/03/869046127/american-police
- Russell, Melvin (~2015). I love being a police officer, but we need to reform. Tedx MidAtlantic. Video: 13:07. https://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?fr=mcafee&p=ted+talks+defund+the+police+video#id=20&vid=75c9e3bb5b69ce9b48c4cfe3c4085457&action=view