Thursday, February 19, 2009

Can we stop the increasing militarization of our communities through a movement to de-fund the police?

Blackspot da Police.

Byron Hammick, Kendra James, James Jahar Perez, James Philip Chasse, Amadou Bailo Diallo, Julian Alexander, Bobby Tolan, Oscar Grant and Alexandros Grigoropoulos. These are the names of innocent, unarmed individuals executed without a trial by police officers (source). Of course, the list is not exhaustive and shootings seem to be occurring with greater frequency as police departments become increasingly militarized. There is even talk of developing softer handcuffs that can be used on children as young as five years old (source). The death of Alexandros Grigoropoulos in Athens sparked riots as did the videotaped execution of Oscar Grant in Oakland, CA. But while riots may relieve the anger of the moment, they also function to justify increasing police budgets. What if we took a different tactic and blackspotted the police by building a movement to de-fund the police and replace them with community safety patrols.
Let’s take the example of Oakland, California where Oscar Grant was lying on his stomach, restrained by police officers and then shot and killed. The whole incident was caught on tape (see video below) so there is little dispute as to the facts of the case. Oakland currently spends around $194 million on police services and their total budget is a little under $950 million (source). That is about four times as much as is spent on Libraries, Parks and Museums combined. The police budget is an amazing 20% of the entire Oakland budget! In these times of economic depression, de-funding the police would directly translate into an increase of funding for the types of community quality of life improvements that decrease crime.
While we de-fund the police and pour that money into community improvement projects, we can also work to make the police unnecessary by replacing them with a Blackspot Police. Obviously a Blackspot Police would share very little in common with the State’s police but would instead work to supercede the police by becoming the community’s first responders. This would be something akin to the Guardian Angels who patrol “dusk until dawn, without weapons, […] to ensure that citizens can enjoy their communities without fearing for their safety” (source). The objective would be to demonstrate that the police are overfunded and their presence is antagonistic and violent.
While you think about how to Blackspot the police, please watch the following video of Oscar Grant’s murder.

It's time to take control of our society, don'tcha think?


8 Don't Just Sit There Say Sumthin !:

Die Muräne said...

did you see the link in my comments? 2 judges took kick-backs about more then 2 million USD for sending kids to jail!!!!

Die Muräne said...

I read a lot about this militarization over there in the states. The FEMA camps and shit like that. Don't know whats true or not... but it sounds pretty scarry.


wallycrawler said...

The FEMA camps turned out to be bullshit, at lest what I've seen on them.

I have seen internment camps in the Florida Keys for Cubans and Haitians. That is only being reasonable. The authorities either send them back or find family that live there.

I'm more concerned with police be'n crazed with power. That I have seen many times. I wrote about a time when I had a stand off with a short ass Metro Cop after The Santa Claus Parade on Yonge Street Toronto. Some asshole called me a lair and another said I probably deserved what he gonna do to me! That's wa ya gotta contend with. The average Joe is clueless of what's go'n on around them.

Yup I seen that link of yours. That`s why I searched this video out.

rita said...

These are really pertinent issues, but for some reason not so easy to to get across to the people that will in the future be most affected by "militarization of our communities". Funding the police takes up quite a bit of most city budgets. Is it warranted? That is the question. Logically, I think not. Getting that point across is not so easy in this age of sensationalism.

The Phosgene Kid said...

The BART cops are rent-a-cops, not actual police. With all the A-holes in the US that voted to put Osama bin Obama in the White House (actually now called the Off-gray kind of house) I am starting to think a police state might be just what the mouth breathers here need.

Ice said...

Okay, banner is back to the good ol'....excellent.

Sumthin' about those prudy eyes of yers!

Sorry I've been MIA!

I'm gaonn go visit that Tasty Bitch now...

I think she misses me...hehe :)

wallycrawler said...

I'm all for a total dismantling of the war machine that is "Policing" in this country and in da U.S.

wallycrawler said...

Shit I guess everyone hated my white header eh????