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Abolition vs. PoLice - youth povertySkola media report

Abolition de Police

by Akil Carrillo

According to The Washington Post, 1,000 people have been killed by the police in the Last Year. Every year since the Washington Post started recording Police killing (2015) cops have killed the same amount of people every year. It's always at least 1,000 people a year.

I grew up in Guatemala where police corruption is clear. The cops happily take bribes, rob people they arrest and kill and harass women at night. These are just a few examples of what happens out there with the police (Which are all US trained).

Moving to the United States things are different, not in what the police are, but their public image. Growing up in the Mission in San Francisco and now in East Oakland I've only met victims of police brutality; many youth my age are now drawn on walls and t-shirts. The names of these victims' memories are ingrained in the fight against police.

I've heard many opinions on Abolishing the Police against and for it. Many statements against abolishing go along the lines of It wouldn't be safe without Cops, We should reform instead of abolishing and Community programs won't work.

Like I stated before, every year 1,000 people are killed by police. Without police they would most likely still be alive, it wasn't safe for them to be around police.

“We have little evidence, if any, to show that more police surveillance results in fewer crimes and greater public safety. Indeed, funneling police into communities of color and pushing officers to make arrests just perpetuates harm and trauma. Yet since the 1980s, spending on law enforcement and our criminal legal system has dramatically outpaced that in community services such as housing, education, and violence prevention programs. Those are the institutions that help build stable, safe, and healthy communities.” Stated Paige Fernandez (Former Policing Policy Advisor, ACLU National Political Advocacy Department) in an ACLU article.

According to Fernandez, there isn't much evidence that proves that cops bring safety and actually more evidence that shows the harm police have caused in Black, Brown and poor communities.

As someone who's lived in these communities, I see the fear and anger the police bring. Everyday after highschool I would walk out and there were about 3 police cars just circling the school waiting, preying on us. I was going to Mission High School at the time, a school in the Mission district close to the Castro District. It's right in the middle of a lot of gentrification and a bunch of black, brown and poor kids does not fit the aesthetic of the gentrifiers.

“Police terror is a nightmare for us young black males who have to live in fear and watch our back from the police because we dont want to die young. I know Tamir Rice was a good kid who did nothing to other people, but his life was taken too soon. This could have been me because I had guns pulled on me and the police consider kids adults, not as kids. Tamir was only a 12 year old boy, and the officer who killed him is Timothy Loehmann, a 26 year old white man.” wrote Amir Cornish (Poverty Skola, Poor Magazine Reporter) in the book How to Not Call the Po’;Lice EVER.

These experiences are common for black, brown and poor people. This is the fear and damage the police cause, it aint no sense of safety in their acts. Police are supposed to be trained in hand to hand combat but still people are shot and killed by police when it's a 1 man and 30+ cop situation.

Another common thing said is that we should “Reform” the police instead of abolishing.

“If you believe the police have been trained badly and that's why they kill many people, understand that any reform program relies on those same officers to administer and hold each other accountable to it. When I was a cop the state sent us mandatory trainings on sexual harrasment and disablity usually in the form of dvds and quizzes. We goofed off on our phones during the dvds and our watch commander gave us the answer key so that we would all pass.” Said Phil (That Dang Dad on youtube) who used to be an ex-cop until he realized it was wrong, now he talks about racial justice, disability justice and explains to his viewers his experiences as a cop and why he isn't on anymore.

Clearly reforms wont work, when the foundation is cracked the building built on top will fall no matter how much one “reforms” the building. The police were built on a cracked foundation, a foundation that originates from the capture of enslaved people trying to escape. So the police will never mean safety to the poor, to the black and brown to any of us in the bottom of society (which is most of us).

What I believe is the solution is to become a real community, a way of living that people seem to have forgotten. Currently I live in Homefulness, one of the many “branches'' of Poor Magazine. Poor Magazine is a group of houseless and previously houseless Poverty Skolas. We are people from the community getting together to build our own solutions. We don't take funding from the state or grants or any city money and without that money we've built homes in which we don't charge rent, we give out free groceries, diapers and classes to hundreds of families weekly, we have a radio station 96.1fm Po peoples radio and much more.

Most importantly tho is that we do NOT call the police no matter what happens. We have the circles and meetings with each other like the elephant meeting or the Family council. In these meetings we all talk out issues or feelings that people might be feeling, if an incident does happen we get together and practice accountability and empathy. We are all traumatized and hurting people due to living in a twisted society so things ain't always sunshine and rainbows but we get through it and move as a family.

Anti Police

by Amir Cornish

Lives are taken by the police and they never take full responsibility for their actions. Half of the lives that are taken are Black and Brown folks, even young teenagers, barely fully grown but yet still a target in this system.

I look into the crime rates and the death rate/with ethnicity information of 4,653 people killed by the police, followed by 19% Black people, 2% Asians, 2% of Native America according to the study Black people and native Americans are roughly 3 times more likely to be shot dead by the police than white people. Over 4,600 people were killed by the police from 2015 to 2020.

I believe we should Abolish the Police because we don’t need any more Black and Brown people dying.

People believe that they wouldn’t feel safe if we abolish the police and would say the crime rate would go up.

I have suffered through police terror as young person. This is my story. After a long day at school my mom decided to pick me and my brother up. Mom was driving back home before we went home. The Police were following us. We were forced into the East Oakland Eastmont Mall driving plaza, the Police hopped out the car with his guns while saying slowly “step out the vehicle.” My mom was in handcuffs on the concrete sidewalk, me and my brother was right beside our mom.

Whenever I'm around the police I don't feel safe, especially being a mixed race person who walks the streets everyday. This is one of the reasons that my family at homefulness Never call the police and why we wrote the book How to Not Call the PoLice EVER (available on

Police Abolition everyday

by Tiburcio Garcia

424 people have been killed in the United States by police this year so far. That is far too many for a system that is designed to serve and protect. What’s worse is that this system wasn’t designed that way at all, in fact, it is designed to enforce systemic racism in this country. Police officers do not have a place in a world that is moving towards equality and fairness. They take up too much funding that is sorely needed for education and other public resources, and cause more harm than good under their current system. The police department should be abolished- and their system dismantled- to make way for a community based protection system. I have family that have been terrorized and know people whose children have been killed by police. I think the police are dangerous, hateful and cannot exist any longer, for the safety of everyone, but especially black and brown people.

In December, Eric Garner was choked to death using an illegal police chokehold. The officer who murdered him in cold blood in front of a streetfull of witnesses was fired 5 years after Garner’s death. In July 2016, this world lost Philando Castille, and the officer who murdered him was fired after a trial a year later. These are two examples among many police officers who killed black men in cold blood. These are killings that if the roles had been reversed would have triggered the death sentence without deliberation. This system is racist, and as we can see from the punishments given to these murderers, it encourages the killing of black and brown people.

Originally, police were the men-for-hire who rode on horseback and hunted down escaping slaves. Those people were not rich themselves but usually working class white men living on the poverty line. They were veterans of wars who had experience in guns or just men who were white, in need of money, and willing to get their hands dirty. They were more than willing to police neighborhoods that were drawn by city zoners to be separated from white suburbs and house primarily black families and black owned businesses. Since then, the police and their assignment has not changed.

Black people are 3.6x more likely to be killed by police than white people in California (Decimal Census, 2020). This is not a flawed system, rather a system designed to oppress people of color. Therefore, it should have never been started, as it was created to oppress poor people of color and carry out the demands of the ruling class. If a company needs to clear houseless people out of an abandoned parking lot, you can count on the fact that the police are there to threaten them and keep them moving. Workers going on strike due to unfair wages? The police will be there to make sure the march goes well, all while throwing tear gas and shooting rubber bullets on peaceful protesters. They do this while driving in new cars, flying helicopters, and operating mobile units.

The state of California and its cities and counties spend roughly $50 billion annually on local law enforcement, the criminal legal system, and incarceration in state prisons and county jails (California Budget and Policy Center, 2020). According to the Public Policy Institute of California, the federal government allocated $23.2 billion in one-time aid (for education) in 2020–21 and another $9.2 billion in 2021–22. Those numbers should be reversed. We as a country should be spending far more money on schools, new housing for houseless people, and programs that support and uplift communities of color than law enforcement and prisons.

The police department should be abolished, and we should make way for a new system, one that not only works with and for the community, but is only operated with members from the community either being a part of the system, or having a major say in the decision making process of this system. Police officers have been shown time and time again to abuse their power, but they are only falling in line with a system that promotes that abuse.

My Mama, tiny gray-garcia (aka povertySkola), co-founder of POOR Magazine- a poor people led movement, calls them PoLice for a reason and it’s why POOR Magazine leaders like my mama and my uncle Leroy Moore have written the book How to Not Call PoLice Ever and do workshops on this all the time and why we practice this main core principal at POOR Magazine. We can take care of us. We do and we have.

Abolition vs incarceration

By Nija Gs.

The prison system gets worse and worse every year. In the US alone, 2.3 million get incarcerated on a daily basis. The people in low-risk *tanks still fall asleep with knives in their hands and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).

The USA gets $134,400 per person detained, meaning that they get so much money to keep people locked up but after you go they won't spend anything to help you. You have no car, no job, no house of your own.

Prisons should be banned because courts have made many mistakes before and put many innocent people in jail just because they're labeled gang-related, or have a lack of evidence.

One ex-inmate said, “The truth is that our prison system does nothing to rehabilitate anyone. They throw you all together and take people who made stupid mistakes and expose them to hardened criminals who are pretty good at leaving impressions on people.”

There are many undercover things that happen while in prison, and people with money calling all the shots. There was an online program that was bussed out for having multiple transitions to keep people in prison just because it was like a game with people's lives.

Many people die in prison because they do not get proper medication. When you go to jail your medical history does not go with you, meaning if you get sick you can die or have a reaction to whatever they decide to get you and then die, or maybe you rot for a couple of days but still stay alive.

36,479 juveniles are incarcerated in US juvenile jails and prisons. Many are Black and Brown and they make up a large majority of victims of incarceration and police violence.

This is just one of the reasons we do all the work we do at Homefulness, POOR Magazine and Deecolonize Academy to take care of us... as Black, Brown, indigenous and houseless youth and families. It’s hard but it works.

Incarceration vs abolition: Debate

By Ziair Hughes

Incarceration : the state of being confined in prison; imprisonment.

Police: the civil force of a national or local government, responsible for the prevention and detection of crime and the maintenance of public order.

"There are 2 million people in the nation’s prisons and jails—a 500% increase over the last 40 years. Changes in sentencing law and policy, not changes in crime rates, explain most of this increase. These trends have resulted in prison overcrowding and fiscal burdens on states to accommodate a rapidly expanding penal system, despite increasing evidence that large-scale incarceration is not an effective means of achieving public safety." -The Sentencing Project, 2022

I believe that prison should be abolished because it was already rooted in classism and racism. The whole concept of police was to protect the elite class and prosecute the poor.

Every year the police have an arrest quota that is illegal. The code makes it illegal for any state or local agency to force officers to meet a certain number of citations or arrests for promotion or disciplinary purposes, but chiefs and officers still do it and every year the arrest quota is 1,000 or a little bit less. Like the case of Tyrell Wilson– a Black man killed for being houseless in Danville by officer Andrew Hall, who also killed Laudemer Arboleda.

Police chiefs and typical Karens bring up that the crime rate is too high but we find that people who go to jail–particularly those who go more than once a year–are disproportionately likely to have incomes under $10,000. Councilmember Sean Ashby says that “community programs don't work,” but if we have propositions that actually help the community, we may have the crime go down and it is seen that every time the community comes out everybody enjoys themselves.

The United States is currently imprisoning roughly 1 million people for low-level drug offenses, property crimes, and various offenses indirectly related to their poverty. Roughly half a million people are imprisoned because of their inability to pay for their release.

In Cypress Village we don't need the police, the elders act as the police and keep the community in check. That's why at Poor Magazine we have the How Not to Call the Police book.

Prisons should be abolished and demolished because this whole government is built to insure the safety of the elite people of this world.

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