Some radical leftists are worried that with the homicides up over 300% in Oakland, the plan to yank 50% of the police budget might be in jeopardy.
“As homicides increase, Oakland’s police officer numbers have decreased and the City Council has embraced a ‘defund the police’ strategy that is accelerating the city’s already high violent crime rate.”
Barry Donelan, president of the Oakland Police Officers’ Association (NBC)
While some crime survivors support shifting resources from police and into prevention and healing services, others who have lost loved ones to shootings and live in high-crime areas worry that depleting police budgets without proven alternatives to fill any gaps will make Black and brown communities less safe.And the further localities dive into the logistics of transforming public safety and lessening reliance on police, the more questions abound. Who are people to call after a shooting? How do we get the most-affected communities to trust new alternatives? How can we go beyond typical reforms into real, radical transformation?…
…Oakland is experiencing a 314% increase in homicides compared with the same time last year, and a 113% increase in firearms assaults..
….At its purest, defunding police is a goal made up of many steps that organizers hope will lead to the complete abolition of police departments, prisons and other carceral systems. But while the proposals put forth in cities like Oakland to reduce police spending – like shifting drug and mental health calls to non-police responders – align with the core principles of police abolitionists, the word “defund” is rarely used by city officials. Most cities have opted for terms like “reimagine” and “reinvest” to describe the work.
The San Francisco Bay area – of which Oakland is a part- was experiencing a steady decline in violent crime in 2012. They should have seen a remarkable drop in violence by the end of 2020. Instead, homicides spiked to over 300% in Oakland.
Five Black members of Oakland’s Reimagining Public Safety Task Force wrote a letter to the other 12 members stating that without a viable alternative, defunding the police might not be the best course of action since the homicides are up. The concern has the antipolice crowd worried that their plan may not go through, even though the Task Force gave 88 recommendations to the council. The proposals would slash $150 million from the Police Budget and include ideas that would likely run afoul of certain police contracts with the city. They also promoted the idea that unarmed civilians from the Transportation Department would do traffic enforcement.
At issue is how they intend to reduce “interactions” with police, which in turn would reduce the bad blood between citizens and cops. It can’t be done by making more gun laws, although that’s what becomes the norm in liberalville. The answer lies at the community level, the attitudes and criminal thoughts that run through both the gang cultures and the communities that support them- those are the things that would greatly reduce the need to police a city. Getting rid of police entirely will never happen in this lifetime without major consequences.
It’s only a matter of time before a non-law enforcement person is going to get killed responding to mental calls or domestic situations, and in some cases, even a traffic incident. Sometimes the unarmed civilian approach will actually work. Sometimes it will not.
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