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How do we think about institutional racism in the American police force? Show more Show less

On June 8 2020, Minneapolis City Council announced it would be dismantling its police force. In its place, they pledged to introduce a new model for public safety, free from the institutional racism that had plagued its police. The decision was unprecedented, and yet, it has been followed by similar moves across the US, for police budget cuts and investigations into how they are run. At the heart of this debate is the question of institutional racism: where it comes from, how it manifests, and how it can be overcome. Following George Floyd's murder, pressure has grown for perceived systemic oppression to be addressed. Others argue that this is a myth, and that police are being victimised for the ills of society. The way that people are mobilising around this question reveals the fundamental ideas that drive their perspectives. So, who are these groups, what do they stand for, and why?

'The police must be reformed!': The police are systemically racist Show more Show less

This position believes that the coercive power of the the police has grown too far. The role of the police is to protect individual freedom, but police today now threaten this, more than they uphold it. The force has co-opted longstanding racial tensions in America to expand its own power. It is essentially corrupt and powers must be curbed.
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We need to hold the police accountable

Introducing accountability measures is the only way to remove rampant institutional racism from the police. For too long, the law has protected the police through laws such as "qualified immunity". In practice, this has given them license to brutalise civilians without repercussions. Reform requires checks and balances including dash cams, abolishing "no knock warrants", and creating a register of complaints against the police. Proponents have enshrined many of these in the Justice in Policing Act proposal - and include House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, senator Kamala Harris, former Vice President Joe Biden, and the Congressional Black Caucus.
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    This page was last edited on Tuesday, 9 Jun 2020 at 11:25 UTC