As “Defund the Police” becomes a rallying cry for the left, the more timid voices on the left have been trying to whitewash the radicalism of the idea.
But the leaders of the protest movement aren’t having any of it. They’re going to abolish the police. And abolish means abolish, not some watered-down version of reform.
The New York Times just ran a piece from Mariame Keba, a self-described “organizer against criminalization,” called “Yes, We Mean Literally Abolish the Police (Because reform won’t happen).”
Ms. Keba argues against reforming the police, saying: “Enough. We can’t reform the police. The only way to diminish police violence is to reduce contact between the public and the police.”
She goes on:
So when you see a police officer pressing his knee into a black man’s neck until he dies, that’s the logical result of policing in America. When a police officer brutalizes a black person, he is doing what he sees as his job.
…I’ve been advocating the abolition of the police for years.
She couldn’t be more wrong. Actually, the logical result of policing in America is the saving of thousands of lives, many of them minorities. And studies conclusively show that racial bias is not a factor in police shootings.
Ms. Keba is engaging in demonization of the police, a perspective that is widespread on the left. It’s a troubling perspective, because if she’s right about the inhuman devilishness of police officers, it’s hard to see why the next step wouldn’t be violent and lethal attacks on officers.
Of course, she’s wrong. Activists like Keba may long for the end of the police, but the truly vulnerable in society view them as friends, family, even saviors. A striking piece called “Why We Need The Police” published in City Journal shows this truth poignantly:
How lovely when we see the police! They are my friends.”
So said an elderly lady attending a police-community meeting in the Bronx several years ago. Her voice is representative of the thousands of senior citizens, middle-aged workers, and small-business owners who fervently support the New York Police Department. These vulnerable New Yorkers want more police presence, not less; they view officers as their only protection against predation. What will the activists seeking to defund the NYPD tell these law-abiding residents—that they are now on their own?
The people who live in high-crime neighborhoods understand more about policing than the anti-cop agitators. Since the early 1990s, when the homicide toll in New York City topped 2,000 per year, tens of thousands of lives have been saved, thanks to the NYPD’s highly responsive, data-driven policing. That policing model, known as Compstat, holds precinct commanders ruthlessly accountable for crime in their jurisdiction; it has driven homicide down 86 percent from 1990, to only 319 in 2019. Most of the lives saved by suppressing crime since then have been black and Hispanic.
Keba doesn’t care about these lives, because they aren’t important for her destructive Marxist agenda.
Keba’s slander against her fellow Americans is a shameful thing for the New York Times to print. But print it they did.
What does this say about the future of America?