Getting Serious About Cops: The Call to Defund the Police

On Friday December 18, 2020, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Editorial Board published an article criticizing activists for calling to defund the Pittsburgh police. It claimed that we actually need more police, and that decreasing the police budget would result in less public safety and increased crime — assertions that were backed by the following pieces of evidence: “Duh” and “Duh, squared.”

But the movement to defund the police is not only aimed at reducing excessive spending; it also seeks to reduce the power of a consistently racist, brutal, and oppressive organization. Data from the Pittsburgh Police’s yearly report shows that while Black people only account for 23% of the City’s population, they accounted for 44% of individuals involved in traffic stops, even though only 61% of Black residents in Pittsburgh own a motor vehicle, compared to 89% of white residents. Black residents also accounted for 71% of all frisks, 69% of individuals subject to warrantless search and seizures, and 63% of all arrests conducted by the Pittsburgh Police. And over 60% of the time the police used force, it was against Black residents.

One can only ask, in the ever-eloquent words of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Editorial Board:

“Are these people for real?

Select pages from the report. View the entire publication here.

--

--

--

ALC is a nonprofit law firm fighting to protect prisoners, and a community organizing project aiming to build a world without prisons. abolitionistlawcenter.org

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

Joe Biden’s approaching migraine over Vladimir Putin

This Week On Arc Digital

How Do We Say It?

A Good Push in the Direction of Our Better Angels

The Oligarchy of Democracy

OSINT for Anti-Racism 101: A cursory introduction to open source intelligence in the war on hate.

Move Fast and Break Things: Afterword by Jonathan Taplin

A somewhat tongue-in-cheek assessment of deliberative public engagement

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Abolitionist Law Center

Abolitionist Law Center

ALC is a nonprofit law firm fighting to protect prisoners, and a community organizing project aiming to build a world without prisons. abolitionistlawcenter.org

More from Medium

Hostinger vs Cloudways: Hard to Choose Between, but Finally I Did It in 2022

WordCamp Geneva: a whole-day event after two years of pandemic

Why Did I Choose Back-End/Infra?

Why is My Google Review Not Showing Up? | SocialBu Blog

Google reviews not showing up