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Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Abolishing the Police?

For John, BLUFThis piece treats all police as alike.  I think that is unfair.  I don't think the police in Lowell are the same as the police in Chicago or the police in Phoenix City.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Harvard Crinson, by Staff Writer Kelsey J. Griffin, 27 February 2020.

Here is the lede plus three:

Vitale serves as the coordinator of the Policing and Social Justice Project at Brooklyn College and on the New York State Advisory Committee of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.  He also consults various international human rights organizations and police departments.

The talk, sponsored by Unbound: Harvard Journal of the Legal Left, addressed a range of challenges posed by current police reform efforts.  Promoting his book, “The End of Policing,” Vitale described what he views as the dangers of modern policing tactics and suggested alternatives to the police system.

He began the talk by recounting the story of Deborah Danner, a mentally ill woman who was fatally shot by a New York City police sergeant in 2016.  According to Vitale, Danner’s case calls into question the effectiveness of police training on mental health.

“The reality is that between a quarter and a half of all people killed by police in the United States are having a mental health crisis,” he said.  “It’s the number one indicator of likelihood of ending up being killed by police.”

I obviously have to read the book to understand what this thinks.  The mental illness issue makes some sense.  However, I fear a powerful government abusing this identification of people as mentally ill.  It reminds me of the old Soviet Union.

Looking to the future, we can continue as we are or we can change.  Treating much anti-social behavior as mental illness is one option.  Another is decriminalizing much behavior.  Or, we can surrender to those who would take what they want by force, becoming more like rural Mexico.  My preferred option is that the community pulll together to set standards and the police help.  This means that parents must set standards, for themselves and for their children.  For that to happen the parents must have hope.  And that requires local leadership.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

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