Saturday, 26 Sep 2020

How Black Lives Matter activists see the future of urban policing

This is the cop-free world that Black Lives Matter protesters are dreaming about.

Social workers and religious leaders would replace officers on the street — and there would be no crimes such as stealing because the community workers would do such a good job helping everyone, fueled by money redirected from local police departments, advocates claim.

“Right now, cops don’t just respond to violent crimes; they make needless traffic stops, arrest petty drug users, and engage in a wide range of ‘broken windows policing’ behaviors that only serve to keep more people under the thumb of the criminal-justice system,” reads the Web site for the Minneapolis community coalition MPD150.

The group — whose name refers to the Minneapolis Police Department and the organization’s “150 year performance review’’ of the cop agency in 2017 — has been calling for the MPD to be dismantled.

Its efforts gained massive momentum after Minneapolis resident George Floyd’s death May 25, when the 46-year-old black man died in a shocking police-brutality case involving a white cop and three other officers.

The Minneapolis City Council — amid anti-police-brutality protests that have spread across the globe — voted Sunday to disband the police department.

Now, instead of cops — a.k.a. “strangers armed with guns” — mental-health providers, social workers, religious leaders and victim advocates could keep law and order, the MPD150 says.

The activists insist that if there was enough money put into the changeover, society could then become a “place where people don’t need to rob banks.”

Still, a small “specialized class of public servants” to fight crime might be necessary to fight some crime that slips through the cracks, they acknowledge.

Protesters rally against the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in New YorkDemonstrators protest against the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in New York City

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