The End of Policing

This week, Lee Camp interviewed Alex Vitale, author of End of Policing.

Vitale proposes that we as a society rethink how we deal with the societal problems which we currently use the police for.

For example, Portugal has made great strides in diminishing their drug problem by legalizing all drugs. Moreover, related problems like HIV, STD’s and overdoses have decreased dramatically.
Instead of involving the police, offenders are given treatment.

The average police officer in the U.S. makes 1 felony arrest per year. The rest of their time is spent enforcing low level misdemeanors which can best be described as an extra tax on the homeless and poor.

Nixon’s war on drugs had nothing to do with public health and safety, it was designed to vilify war protesters and people of color, and to reinforce the idea of authoritarianism.

Keeping marijuana a crime punishible by jail opens the door to “aggressive policing” where trivial offenses escalate into arrests, mostly from noncompliance.

Our fear of authority keeps us in line. If we try to unionize and we picket, the boss will get the police on their side. If we protest for political reasons there is an ever present danger of being jailed for expressing our right to freedom of speech.

Police ‘follow along’ shows are the most tivo’d programs on television. Police often act as producers in this content development that features on compliance. The shows themselves will never air police misconduct because that would cut off their access to film the police on duty.

I’ve known that decriminalizing marijuana will ease tensions between the public and the police, but I never imagined that those tensions were a feature of the system and not a bug.

In other news, the city of Detroit has installed thousands of facial recognition cameras which will use DMV photos as a cross reference. Tests have found that the software does not recognize white skinned faces and dark skinned faces equally well. The cameras can be calibrated to increase the accuracy for one skin type or the other, but not both at the same time. Want to take a guess which skin type will be the default calibration across the country?

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Comments

misdemeanor fines to be one of the largest sources of income for the county. Small amounts of pot is a big money maker.
Our local force is like a bunch of commandoes.

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detroitmechworks's picture

I'm certain that technology will solve every problem in Detroit quickly and efficiently.

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I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

snoopydawg's picture

It's been buried and paved over and is mocked daily. Or hourly. As are our freedoms that saw the final nails in the coffin when Bush passed the patriot act and Obama the NDAA. And it went out with a whimper because too many people said that they had nothing to hide.

The police have been told that they can kill us with no consequences whatsoever. Even when they break their own rules they are not punished. I don't know or care to learn what Eric Garner's killer's name is, but he went against police procedures when he put Garner in a choke hold and choked him to death. He is not going to be prosecuted or even fired. Laquan McDonald was shot 16 times while walking away from the cops and after he had fallen to the ground. He got 7 years, but how long until he gets pardoned?

OWS was a wake up call for the police to see how far they could get away with police brutality. Then DAPL happened with private mercenaries being in charge of the police forces. Finally our cops are being sent to Israel to be trained by its military and to see us as the enemy instead of people that they are supposed to be protecting. And they don't even dress like cops anymore. They are decked out in military clothes and use military equipment. We are living in Orwell's nightmare.

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

Cops and our fascist criminal justice system aren't the answer. Involuntary drug treatment is.

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