We’re long overdue for reforming how police departments operate. While they are supposed to be keepers of the peace, many view them as an occupying force in the communities that they live in. Too many are afraid to contact the police, even in non-emergency situations. There are far too many names to mention who have been killed or seriously injured at the hands of the police. Far too often black and brown people are the ones at the receiving end of police brutality. The recent murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor have brought police reform back into mainstream conversation. Below are some of my suggestions that could be acted upon immediately by local governments.
Civilian Review Boards
A democratically elected review board to investigate complaints of the public concerning misconduct by police officers.
More Mental Health Counselors
Send a counselor instead of, or with a police officer for wellness checks.
Defund the Police
Police department budgets should not be increased for the purchase of new equipment, vehicles, or building new facilities if there is a deficit for the upkeep of schools, public health, recreation, and infrastructure.
Duty to Intervene
Police officers are required to stop another sworn officer when force is being inappropriately applied.
Real Community Policing
Community members should be involved and in control of all police community outreach.
Abolishing “No Knock” Warrants.
No more military surplus equipment.
Abolishing the use of tear gas and rubber bullets.
DISBAND THE POLICE
Departments known for corruption should be disbanded and reorganized with the community directly involved in the hiring process.
It’s going to take a mass movement to end police brutality.