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.
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.