Don’t Abolish Law Enforcement, Abolish the Police

Abolishing the Police has been a controversial subject with misinformation on both sides, so what does it actually mean to Abolish the Police?



Philadelphia protest against Police Brutality.

By Daryn O'Neal, Staff Writer

The origins of policing in America vary depending on the region, but in many American regions the origins of the police system to stem from slavery .  In the south, where slavery was pivotal to the economy, slave owners established night watch systems to provide safety to their neighborhoods and to capture any run-away slaves.  The slave patrols were created in hopes of keeping slaves within their bounds and the authority figures provided life-threatening consequences to those who refused to comply.

In Colonial America policing was privately funded. For example, in Boston officers were hired by wealthy citizens or businesses to protect their property and goods that were coming in through the port.

Due to this, the police force started to gain its identity as heroic figures who protected society at all cost. Unfortunately many Americans have not had the same privilege to of the positive aspects of the police.

Moving forward, many Americans, specifically Black people,  spent years protesting and rioting for their freedom to live without fear of lynching, segregation, false accusation, over-policing, and brutality.

For example, in 1963, the fight for civil rights exploded in the south.  In response to this cry for justice, the Birmingham police attacked Black citizens and allies with water hoses, dogs, bats, and other harmful objects.  Unfortunately, these actions were not limited to Birmingham, but were experienced elsewhere.

Within the past twenty years America witnessed the wrongful police killings of Alberta Spruill, Sandra Bland, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Amir Locke, Breonna Taylor, and many other unarmed black men, women, and children.

Rising out of the increased awareness of  police brutality, the question involving police abolition has been recently popularized by many Black activists and protest leaders, but through both fear of social change, radical ideologies, and sometimes outright racism, mass-information has heavily distorted what “Abolishing the Police.”

“I don’t think we should [abolish the police], because they help us, in certain times when they are needed. I feel like if we did abolish the police then the world will go crazy, and there wouldn’t be any control,” senior Rachel Franco said.

With that said we need to learn what Abolishing the Police truly means in order to determine whether or not it is necessary.

When we say Abolish the Police we don’t mean abolish law enforcement, we mean abolish it as we know it, which is a corrupt, outdated system based on systemic and systematic racism

— Brittany Broski

First of all, abolishing the police, does not in any way mean a complete and total disappearance of Law Enforcement. Abolishing the police simply means changing the way the current Law enforcement system operates so they can be more efficient, and in some cases less harmful, to society.

“When we say abolish the police we don’t mean abolish law enforcement, we mean abolish it as we know it, which is a corrupt, outdated system based on systemic and systematic racism,” Magna cum laude college graduate Brittany Broski said in one of her Tik Tok posts.  

When people say abolish the police, they envision the new law enforcement system as a large pie that is cut into relatively equal slices for only specific former police officers, social workers, and other law enforcement employees to handle based on their qualifications.

“Now that I know more about why people want to abolish the police, I am able to support the movement more than I did,” sophomore Camdyen Tate said.

As of now the police deal with almost any social issue, ranging from noise complaints to violent rape and murder cases. This leaves a small and at times undertrained police force to deal with a plethora of diverse issues that they may not be qualified or experienced enough to properly handle.

“When police go through training they are taught to handle all situations the same. They are taught to detain all people the same which cause a lot of retaliation between the people and cops. Therefore instead of the police being the bigger people they use extreme force and it sometime leads to murder. Then they try to validate there actions with the phrase that is ‘I was just doing my job,'” black GRHS Junior, Christaria Lee said.

Another adjacent concept that gains a lot of misinformation is defunding the police. In spite of its perception, the combination of police abolition and police defunding may help society.

Defunding the police simply means demilitarizing the police. They would still have weapons, but they would be appropriate for their job. In addition to that the funding would go to teachers, social workers, and other jobs that may assist the community.

To reiterate, police abolition would take the burden off of police to deal with issues they were not qualified to take on. Meaning instead of police being social workers, therapists, and overall overworked, they can deal with what they were trained to deal with which is crime.

The abolishment of the police would allow for a new system of law enforcement to emerge that could possibly be more helpful and effective than our current policing situation, but we as a country must seek reliable sources in order to properly educate ourselves on how this might be an effective solution.

“Abolition, I have learned, is a bigger idea than firing cops and closing prisons; it includes eliminating the reasons people think they need cops and prisons in the first place,” author and lawyer Derecka Purnell said.

Abolishing the police is doing just what it says. America would no longer have a police force, but we would have many different career paths that would allow for an appropriate, just, and helpful system of law and order.

Through the nations triumphs and tragedies one of the main priorities of many is to promote a safe and peaceful environment where injustice is eradicated. Therefore, we  must seek valuable information to make the most beneficial decision for all.