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Do we even need police?

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The Two Jerseys
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Postby The Two Jerseys » Sun Jan 03, 2021 10:01 pm

The Lone Alliance wrote:Here's the thing.

Doctors kill an untold number of people each year because of careless mistakes, incompetence, and in rare cases outright maliciousness.

Sometimes even in rare cases it's possible that racism and sexism could even be a factor in deciding how well a doctor does their job in their life.

Most of the time they simply pay off the victim's families and in rare cases they get judged and removed from power.

So in the light that Doctors sometimes kill people because of incompetence should we abolish doctors and go back to faith healing?

No because we realized that while there are problems with the health industry there really isn't anything that much better to replace it with.

On a similar note, should we abolish the entire legal system just because there have been some crooked judges/prosecutors/attorneys and rigged juries?
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Picairn
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Postby Picairn » Sun Jan 03, 2021 10:04 pm

Bahia Roja wrote:I think the principal focus of this whole ordeal shouldn't be stopping current gangs and violent criminals, although it is clearly important for capable and competent people to do so. The main focus here should be the circumstances that led to gangs to become as powerful as they are and correct them so it doesn't happen again and for that, we definitely do not need a militarized agency stepping in to ensure "public order".

Militarized police is a uniquely American phenomenon, due to Reagan's allowance for the police to use military gear for the War on Drugs. The OP however, is calling for the abolition of police in all countries. That is absurd, for many of the abuses listed in the OP aren't prevalent in the rest of the world. Not to mention each country has its own unique culture, economy, social problems, etc.

And to reduce the gangs' influence by "correcting the circumstances" sounds very vague and broad. That could range from welfare to childcare to housing to upgrading standards of living for the poor to mental health. Poor countries can't afford many of those luxuries for the entire population, so such an enormous task will take time. In the short run (until the circumstances for crime have been corrected and crime is eradicated), police is a must.

Bombadil wrote:What would resolve the issue better:

1. Moar police!
2. Ending government corruption and elite rule, having strong government institutions in place that enforce equality before the law, lowering mass inequality through quality education and healthcare.. etc., etc.,

I suspect the latter myself.

Great, how many years, how much money, how much effort and institutional change would it take for each country to do so? Listing broad solutions is easy, carrying them out is the real problem. Especially when each country is different from each other. In the short term, police remains a necessity when countries are still trying to implement institutional changes.

I support a carrot-and-stick approach. Police deal with violent criminals and gangs, while welfare is enhanced to reduce poverty and circumstances that lead to crime. Abolition is an absolute no. Their role to preserve security in crime ridden areas is still paramount.
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Bombadil
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Postby Bombadil » Sun Jan 03, 2021 10:14 pm

Picairn wrote:
Bahia Roja wrote:I think the principal focus of this whole ordeal shouldn't be stopping current gangs and violent criminals, although it is clearly important for capable and competent people to do so. The main focus here should be the circumstances that led to gangs to become as powerful as they are and correct them so it doesn't happen again and for that, we definitely do not need a militarized agency stepping in to ensure "public order".

Militarized police is a uniquely American phenomenon, due to Reagan's allowance for the police to use military gear for the War on Drugs. The OP however, is calling for the abolition of police in all countries. That is absurd, for many of the abuses listed in the OP aren't prevalent in the rest of the world. Not to mention each country has its own unique culture, economy, social problems, etc.

And to reduce the gangs' influence by "correcting the circumstances" sounds very vague and broad. That could range from welfare to childcare to housing to upgrading standards of living for the poor to mental health. Poor countries can't afford many of those luxuries for the entire population, so such an enormous task will take time. In the short run (until the circumstances for crime have been corrected and crime is eradicated), police is a must.

Bombadil wrote:What would resolve the issue better:

1. Moar police!
2. Ending government corruption and elite rule, having strong government institutions in place that enforce equality before the law, lowering mass inequality through quality education and healthcare.. etc., etc.,

I suspect the latter myself.

Great, how many years, how much money, how much effort and institutional change would it take for each country to do so? Listing broad solutions is easy, carrying them out is the real problem. Especially when each country is different from each other. In the short term, police remains a necessity when countries are still trying to implement institutional changes.

I support a carrot-and-stick approach. Police deal with violent criminals and gangs, while welfare is enhanced to reduce poverty and circumstances that lead to crime. Abolition is an absolute no. Their role to preserve security in crime ridden areas is still paramount.


Even the OP calls for long term planning, not the immediate abolition. No one's calling for the immediate abolition. However in the short term there are steps nations can easily start to take.
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Cordel One
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Postby Cordel One » Sun Jan 03, 2021 10:43 pm

The Two Jerseys wrote:
The Lone Alliance wrote:Here's the thing.

Doctors kill an untold number of people each year because of careless mistakes, incompetence, and in rare cases outright maliciousness.

Sometimes even in rare cases it's possible that racism and sexism could even be a factor in deciding how well a doctor does their job in their life.

Most of the time they simply pay off the victim's families and in rare cases they get judged and removed from power.

So in the light that Doctors sometimes kill people because of incompetence should we abolish doctors and go back to faith healing?

No because we realized that while there are problems with the health industry there really isn't anything that much better to replace it with.

On a similar note, should we abolish the entire legal system just because there have been some crooked judges/prosecutors/attorneys and rigged juries?

It's bad enought that it should be torn down and fully redone, but at least judges aren't beating minorities to death in the streets.
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The Two Jerseys
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Postby The Two Jerseys » Sun Jan 03, 2021 10:46 pm

Picairn wrote:Militarized police is a uniquely American phenomenon, due to Reagan's allowance for the police to use military gear for the War on Drugs.

That's somewhat debatable, a lot of countries have some sort of national police force (which quite often is actually part of the military) that possesses some serious firepower.

American police forces being "militarized" probably has more to do with the American mindset of keeping as much power as possible at lower levels of government, so the police department in an American city would be equipped to fill the roles that it would take two or even three police forces to fill in a European city.
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The Two Jerseys
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Postby The Two Jerseys » Sun Jan 03, 2021 10:49 pm

Cordel One wrote:
The Two Jerseys wrote:On a similar note, should we abolish the entire legal system just because there have been some crooked judges/prosecutors/attorneys and rigged juries?

It's bad enought that it should be torn down and fully redone, but at least judges aren't beating minorities to death in the streets.

No, they just send them to jail which makes them practically unemployable once they get out, leaving them no alternative but to turn to a life of crime to get by.

So they might as well save some time and beat them to death in the streets.
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Cordel One
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Postby Cordel One » Sun Jan 03, 2021 10:55 pm

The Two Jerseys wrote:
Cordel One wrote:It's bad enought that it should be torn down and fully redone, but at least judges aren't beating minorities to death in the streets.

No, they just send them to jail which makes them practically unemployable once they get out, leaving them no alternative but to turn to a life of crime to get by.

So they might as well save some time and beat them to death in the streets.

True, which is why I hate the justice system too.
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Postby Jershaland » Sun Jan 03, 2021 11:12 pm

I tend to have a very negative view of human nature. I think most people are selfish, greedy, and power hungry. Therefore I absolutely believe the police are needed, without some law enforcement society would be chaotic. However, since I believe almost everyone is selfish and greedy that applies to the police as well, meaning a check on their power is absolutely needed. In the US the police are effectively allowed to use their power with no limits or repercussions, and that needs to change.
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Postby Salus Maior » Sun Jan 03, 2021 11:13 pm

Sanghyeok wrote:Instead, some policy makers propose replacing police with solutions we know to be effective, such as rehabilitation of criminals as opposed to punitive punishment, decriminalising non-violent crimes, and spend more on mental health care, housing and education.


How are you going to capture criminals in the first place to rehabilitate them without law enforcement?
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Postby Libertas Omnium Maximus » Sun Jan 03, 2021 11:33 pm

Under no circumstances should the police be abolished. The simple reality of the situation is that there always has to be some entity maintaining law and order within a nation for it to function to any degree. In the US, alone, we've seen how quickly situations, where no trained law enforcement agents are present, devolve into chaos. Frankly, I would much prefer a trained law enforcement agency to be upholding the law, rather than some sort of vigilante group (which, I might add, are historically often comprised of folks with a less-than-benevolent agenda). For society to function there literally has to be some way of enforcing laws.

It's also worth noting that most US police agencies are decentralized. You are probably getting pulled over by the guy who lives six houses down from you (The sheriff literally used to be my next-door neighbor), not some military police officer from God-knows-where. The idea is that members of the community are stepping up to protect their town and uphold the laws of the land. This occasionally creates bad actors (which exist in EVERY large entity), but it is the best setup we've got right now.
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Postby The Federal State of China » Sun Jan 03, 2021 11:40 pm

Police=Law Enforcement
Those in law enforcement enforce the law onto those breaking the law.

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Postby Nejii » Mon Jan 04, 2021 12:26 am

Cordel One wrote:
The Two Jerseys wrote:No, they just send them to jail which makes them practically unemployable once they get out, leaving them no alternative but to turn to a life of crime to get by.

So they might as well save some time and beat them to death in the streets.

True, which is why I hate the justice system too.


Is it all law enforcement/justice officials you loathe or is it specifically the US's law and enforcement system?

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Postby Kowani » Mon Jan 04, 2021 1:38 am

First, to answer the question of "do we need police", we have to ask a different question: What do police do?
And the answer to that seems simple: "They enforce the law" "they catch criminals" "they uphold the state"
All of these are valid answers. So let us synthesize them: They uphold the state by enforcing the law by catching criminals. A bit wordy, perhaps, but it'll do.
The reservation most people have, when the question "should we have police" is that the police prevent crime, catch criminals, and generally work to prevent anarchy (the not fun kind). Often, some musing about "human nature" (a topic we shall return to later) accompanies it, the idea that without the police, we would fall into something very similar to Hobbes' state of nature, where the strong prey on the weak.
But what if I told you that was already our situation-and the police were partly responsible?

Take a guess, your best, at what percentage of crime the police solve. 40? 50? 60?
Would you accept a 60% failure rate? No? Good.
Because the police do even worse. The true clearance rate (crimes where a formal charge is laid) has been 10%. For the past 30 years. And the arrest rate, exactly the same. 10%. And it gets worse. When you take convictions into account, 41% of murderers got away scot-free, as did 88% of rapists, 96% of robbers, 93% of assailants, and 97% of burglars. Larceny was particularly bad, with the conviction rate not even reaching a full percent.
It's not for lack of effort, either. After all, the police only spend 4% of their time on violent crime. Most of their time is spent on either non-criminal calls or traffic work.
And despite these objectively terrible numbers, the amount of money America spends on policing continues to balloon, expanding year after year without stopping.

We spend this money on ever more militarized police forces, mostly to focus on average crimes. SWAT, for example, does not spend most of its time dealing with active violent situations, like hostage crises or snipers. Instead,62% of SWAT deployments are for drug searches, and 79% of all SWAT deployments are on the basis of a search warrant.
Imagine, if you will, being woken up at 6:00 a.m by a raid on your neighbor's home. Black-clad troopers, in military vehicles, deploying a distraction device, breaking the door down with a battering ram, all to find a small amount of marijuana.
Would you trust them to adequately respond to your concerns?
No?
You're not alone. Militarizing the police doesn't make them any better at their jobs-but it does make people trust them less. And-in a theme we'll return to, it disproportionately hurts minorities, even when you account for crime rates.
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And they make this worse.
Most of us, I assume, have heard of "civil asset forfeiture", where the police seize possessions without a trial, on the mere suspicion that you used it to commit a crime. Over the past 20 years, that gave the federal government a nice little boost of 40 Billion-and the state and local levels are even larger. In some years, they actually took more than burglars. And why wouldn't they? It's a powerful incentive, practically untouchable.
But does it make us safer? No. Not at all. In fact, just the opposite. The more the police focused on seizing property and collecting fines, the worse they got at actually solving crime.
Oh, and don't expect to get your stuff back, even if you're innocent, by the way. You don't just have to prove your innocence-you have to prove the officers' belief that it was being used in a crime to have been unreasonable.
Good luck with that.

Am I being too harsh on the police?
I don't think so. They protect themselves pretty well. After all, according to the police themselves, 62% of them don't always report serious criminal abuses by other cops, and 52% of them thought it was normal for police to outright ignore misconduct by their colleagues.
How can we expect them to police the streets when they can't even police themselves?
And even the rare case of an officer getting fired for abuses or criminal behaviour doesn't stop them-they'll just get a job at another department.

Much has been made of the idea that the police are racist, systemically so.
There are many examples we could use, such as the fact that blacks and latinos were more likely stopped and frisked, despite the fact that whites were more likely to have contraband, that minorities are less likely to receive a discount on their speeding ticket, or that the disparity in traffic stops entirely disappears at night (which, for the inevitable apologists, destroys both class and criminality arguments), etc.

But what if it went both ways? What if being a minority actually made it less likely your murder would be solved, or that the police would treat you with less respect when they interacted with you?
Wouldn't you find this whole system unfair, and deeply rotten?
I do.


I don't pretend to have a solution to the question of "so what do we replace the police with?"
At least, not yet.
My only goal here is to demonstrate that as it exists, the institution of policing is deeply nonfunctional, and needs to be replaced with something else.
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Postby SD_Film Artists » Mon Jan 04, 2021 3:02 am

Sanghyeok wrote:Police are often seen as something necessary to protect lives, prevent crime, and preserve order. However, in practice this has rarely been the case
I'm assuming that the poll sample was taken from a BLM crowd.


Instead, some policy makers propose replacing police with solutions we know to be effective, such as rehabilitation of criminals as opposed to punitive punishment, decriminalising non-violent crimes


Apparently everything will be decriminalised, as there's no enforcement.

and spend more on mental health care

That's a good policy in itself but I'm not sure how that will replace the police, plus a big improvement in that field would be removing social stigma like.. not attaching mental health with criminality.

housing and education

Criminals have houses and went to school. More to the point, the lack of both things is no excuse for criminality.

What do you think about police abolition entirely (in all nations) ? I support immediate reforms to reduce police power and provide more funding to welfare initiatives that reduce incentives and necessity for crime, with a long term plan of removing police as an institution.


What will you replace them with? I haven't read the previous pages of this thread but at least in the OP you have yet to answer this issue which is at the core of your thread. You've mentioned some things but they're damage-control at best and unrelated at worst.

necessity for crime


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Last edited by SD_Film Artists on Mon Jan 04, 2021 3:32 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Postby Page » Mon Jan 04, 2021 4:00 am

I think communities should retain a small, highly trained, highly accountable armed group that can respond to extreme situations like a mass shooting or a person being kidnapped by a sexual predator, times when people are in great danger of death or extreme harm, but otherwise police should not exist.

I oppose law enforcement as a concept, I think the priority should always be to resolve disputes and conflicts in the most humane and effective way so that all parties involved are helped.
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Postby Thermodolia » Mon Jan 04, 2021 4:24 am

Cordel One wrote:
San Lumen wrote:And whose going to enforce law and order? How about instead we reform the police and increase transparency such as banning encryption and encouraging community policy so their is a relationship with the community.

Your solution is not the answer.

Slowly abolish the police and most laws, replace it with a fully transparent volunteer force.

So replace the police force with a police force. Because that makes sense. Also people aren’t going to volunteer for police services. Volunteer fire departments have trouble keeping volunteers because Ya don’t make money and need another job to survive which incidentally cuts into volunteer fire fighting.
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Postby Thermodolia » Mon Jan 04, 2021 4:26 am

Cordel One wrote:
San Lumen wrote:
Yes but we aren't talking about firefighters and in most medium to large cities they are not volunteer.

They could be, especially if we ended capitalism. and rstructured the economy.

That’s about as likely to happen as me getting to be dictator of the world
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Postby Thermodolia » Mon Jan 04, 2021 4:28 am

Cordel One wrote:
Port Myreal wrote:We could replace police with a system of private protection firms, which compete in a free market. But instead of having large security corporations we should focus on small, but well-organized family-owned businesses. These would then establish some kind of commission to oversee their activities and mediate conflicts that may arise between them.

No, that would be worse.

It wouldn’t be much worse than your idea
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Postby Socialist States of Ludistan » Mon Jan 04, 2021 4:32 am

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Postby Thermodolia » Mon Jan 04, 2021 4:35 am

Page wrote:I think communities should retain a small, highly trained, highly accountable armed group that can respond to extreme situations like a mass shooting or a person being kidnapped by a sexual predator, times when people are in great danger of death or extreme harm, but otherwise police should not exist.

I oppose law enforcement as a concept, I think the priority should always be to resolve disputes and conflicts in the most humane and effective way so that all parties involved are helped.

And I too wish the world was full of candies and happiness
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Postby SD_Film Artists » Mon Jan 04, 2021 4:57 am

Page wrote:I think communities should retain a small, highly trained, highly accountable armed group that can respond to extreme situations like a mass shooting or a person being kidnapped by a sexual predator, times when people are in great danger of death or extreme harm, but otherwise police should not exist.


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Postby Nejii » Mon Jan 04, 2021 5:01 am

Page wrote:I think communities should retain a small, highly trained, highly accountable armed group that can respond to extreme situations like a mass shooting or a person being kidnapped by a sexual predator, times when people are in great danger of death or extreme harm, but otherwise police should not exist.


A local militia? No.

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Borderlands of Rojava
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Democratic Socialists

Postby Borderlands of Rojava » Mon Jan 04, 2021 5:36 am

Kowani wrote:First, to answer the question of "do we need police", we have to ask a different question: What do police do?
And the answer to that seems simple: "They enforce the law" "they catch criminals" "they uphold the state"
All of these are valid answers. So let us synthesize them: They uphold the state by enforcing the law by catching criminals. A bit wordy, perhaps, but it'll do.
The reservation most people have, when the question "should we have police" is that the police prevent crime, catch criminals, and generally work to prevent anarchy (the not fun kind). Often, some musing about "human nature" (a topic we shall return to later) accompanies it, the idea that without the police, we would fall into something very similar to Hobbes' state of nature, where the strong prey on the weak.
But what if I told you that was already our situation-and the police were partly responsible?

Take a guess, your best, at what percentage of crime the police solve. 40? 50? 60?
Would you accept a 60% failure rate? No? Good.
Because the police do even worse. The true clearance rate (crimes where a formal charge is laid) has been 10%. For the past 30 years. And the arrest rate, exactly the same. 10%. And it gets worse. When you take convictions into account, 41% of murderers got away scot-free, as did 88% of rapists, 96% of robbers, 93% of assailants, and 97% of burglars. Larceny was particularly bad, with the conviction rate not even reaching a full percent.
It's not for lack of effort, either. After all, the police only spend 4% of their time on violent crime. Most of their time is spent on either non-criminal calls or traffic work.
And despite these objectively terrible numbers, the amount of money America spends on policing continues to balloon, expanding year after year without stopping.

We spend this money on ever more militarized police forces, mostly to focus on average crimes. SWAT, for example, does not spend most of its time dealing with active violent situations, like hostage crises or snipers. Instead,62% of SWAT deployments are for drug searches, and 79% of all SWAT deployments are on the basis of a search warrant.
Imagine, if you will, being woken up at 6:00 a.m by a raid on your neighbor's home. Black-clad troopers, in military vehicles, deploying a distraction device, breaking the door down with a battering ram, all to find a small amount of marijuana.
Would you trust them to adequately respond to your concerns?
No?
You're not alone. Militarizing the police doesn't make them any better at their jobs-but it does make people trust them less. And-in a theme we'll return to, it disproportionately hurts minorities, even when you account for crime rates.
Truly, pillars of society.

And they make this worse.
Most of us, I assume, have heard of "civil asset forfeiture", where the police seize possessions without a trial, on the mere suspicion that you used it to commit a crime. Over the past 20 years, that gave the federal government a nice little boost of 40 Billion-and the state and local levels are even larger. In some years, they actually took more than burglars. And why wouldn't they? It's a powerful incentive, practically untouchable.
But does it make us safer? No. Not at all. In fact, just the opposite. The more the police focused on seizing property and collecting fines, the worse they got at actually solving crime.
Oh, and don't expect to get your stuff back, even if you're innocent, by the way. You don't just have to prove your innocence-you have to prove the officers' belief that it was being used in a crime to have been unreasonable.
Good luck with that.

Am I being too harsh on the police?
I don't think so. They protect themselves pretty well. After all, according to the police themselves, 62% of them don't always report serious criminal abuses by other cops, and 52% of them thought it was normal for police to outright ignore misconduct by their colleagues.
How can we expect them to police the streets when they can't even police themselves?
And even the rare case of an officer getting fired for abuses or criminal behaviour doesn't stop them-they'll just get a job at another department.

Much has been made of the idea that the police are racist, systemically so.
There are many examples we could use, such as the fact that blacks and latinos were more likely stopped and frisked, despite the fact that whites were more likely to have contraband, that minorities are less likely to receive a discount on their speeding ticket, or that the disparity in traffic stops entirely disappears at night (which, for the inevitable apologists, destroys both class and criminality arguments), etc.

But what if it went both ways? What if being a minority actually made it less likely your murder would be solved, or that the police would treat you with less respect when they interacted with you?
Wouldn't you find this whole system unfair, and deeply rotten?
I do.


I don't pretend to have a solution to the question of "so what do we replace the police with?"
At least, not yet.
My only goal here is to demonstrate that as it exists, the institution of policing is deeply nonfunctional, and needs to be replaced with something else.


Yeah if we're gonna have police, we need police who do their job right and too often that isn't what we got.
Leftist, commie and Antifa Guy. Democratic Confederalist, Anti-racist

"The devil is out there. Hiding behind every corner and in every nook and cranny. In all of the dives, all over the city. Before you lays an entire world of enemies, and at day's end when the chips are down, we're a society of strangers. You cant walk by someone on the street anymore without crossing the road to get away from their stare. Welcome to the Twilight Zone. The land of plague and shadow. Nothing innocent survives this world. If it can't corrupt you, it'll kill you."

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Borderlands of Rojava
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Democratic Socialists

Postby Borderlands of Rojava » Mon Jan 04, 2021 5:36 am

Nejii wrote:
Page wrote:I think communities should retain a small, highly trained, highly accountable armed group that can respond to extreme situations like a mass shooting or a person being kidnapped by a sexual predator, times when people are in great danger of death or extreme harm, but otherwise police should not exist.


A local militia? No.


I thought you conservatives like your well regulated militias?
Leftist, commie and Antifa Guy. Democratic Confederalist, Anti-racist

"The devil is out there. Hiding behind every corner and in every nook and cranny. In all of the dives, all over the city. Before you lays an entire world of enemies, and at day's end when the chips are down, we're a society of strangers. You cant walk by someone on the street anymore without crossing the road to get away from their stare. Welcome to the Twilight Zone. The land of plague and shadow. Nothing innocent survives this world. If it can't corrupt you, it'll kill you."

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Socialist States of Ludistan
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Anarchy

Postby Socialist States of Ludistan » Mon Jan 04, 2021 5:38 am

Can’t we just have, you know, normal police?
No need for anarcho-capitalism, guys.
Member of ICDN

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