As an institution, the police perpetuate and uphold the violence of white supremacy and capitalism. The individual personality of police officers does not negate that fact that as an institution, law enforcement does more harm than good, especially in communities of color.
As gentrification spreads throughout the United States, white gentrifiers have a responsibility to decrease the police presence in the communities they’re occupying. Police departments have the tendency to over-police people of color in gentrifying neighborhoods to make new white residents feel safe, but police are more dangerous than any civilian.
Thus, it’s important to limit unnecessary interaction between the police and Black and Brown folks. Far too often, people call the police seeking help and the police only make the situation worse.
As Taj James, the founder of the Movement Strategy Center, said, “I am starting to think we are better off without them. That we don’t need them. That if we shut them all down today and transferred all the resources they control to communities to set up systems of community safety and accountability we would all be much happier.”
There are alternatives to contacting the police, and these alternatives can be more effective than getting law enforcement involved in situations that they are not specifically trained for. These alternatives are also less likely to end in a fatality. Ahead find safe, effective ways to handle conflict and emergencies that don’t involve calling the police.