Refund the Police
Tyre Nichols beat to death by 5 police officers in front of his own home, George Floyd choked to death on the street for 11 minutes by a white police officer, Christopher Lee Mercurio shot and killed for trespassing and unarmed assault of a police officer. Police have for too long been killing and getting away with horrific crimes so much so that they have become infamous in the US whether it is a matter of racism or incompetence police need to be held to a higher standard. However, the deficiency of the police does not mean the removal of police through defunding them, rather it should be more training and protocol to change and reform the police, to make them efficient and real officers of the law.
Police have an infamous history in America, with public opinion generally regarding them as “untrustworthy” and “dislikable.” In a survey done by the Pew Research Center American opinion of police hold that “More than eight-in-ten officers (86%) say their department does not have enough police to adequately patrol their community. By contrast, a majority of the public (57%) wants no change in the size of the local police force. About a third of the public (34%) want more officers in their local area, and 8% favor fewer officers” (Morin et al 1). 8% is a deceivingly large number, considering the large population of America, this is exacerbated by the even larger percent of Americans who don’t want an increase in police directly conflicting with the opinions of the overwhelming majority of police. This is no surprise with the history of the police, with America being placed 10th in police brutality, “the USA listed here as the country with the most brutal police force particularly after 9/11” (Hajra 1). In a world full of militaristic dictatorships one of the most progressive and civilized democracies in the world is placed 10th in police violence. This represents the sheer scale of just how much police brutality that the United States incur. Undoubtedly, change is needed evident by the current state of the police riddled with corruption, abuse of power, and general public disinterest.
Reform is a long and complicated process which cannot be all addressed in this article, however key principles that should be set as a target are the main focuses of the reform that will be explained. Officer pay is the first step to reform, increasing officer’s wages will cut corruption in the department to a minimal level as corruption will not be as tempting with a higher wage. Corruption in the police force is possibly the most dangerous type of corruption as it will likely involve dealings with criminals and can threaten the livelihoods of civilians. Advanced training should also be implemented such as physical conditioning and response time to ensure the safety of both police and civilians. However, more importantly should be the teaching of ethics and training to different responses such as those who are mentally unstable or dealing with children. Many instances of accidents and lack of training have been present in the media where the police could have easily avoided a terrible situation with the implementation of different response training and ethics.
The state of the police is not perfect currently, however the value of their continued existence and efficiency is vital in the role of modern society. The defunding of the police would only make matters worse with more crime and continued corruption and brutality continuing, however reforming the police into a better structured organization will make deterrence of crime more efficient in America but also prevent the horrific injustice and abuse of power that police are infamous for today.