The pro-police crowd is really anti-officer.

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If you’re reading this, you probably know who Breonna Taylor was. Briefly, she was a young woman who was killed by police in a horrifically botched attempt to serve a warrant related to a non-violent drug offense. No officer was charged for her death.

Breonna Taylor is yet another victim of a toxic police system that poses a very real threat to civilians in this country. But something else happened the night she was killed that showcases another threat — this one to police officers.

Kenneth Walker was Taylor’s boyfriend and was there when the police broke down the door…


Some of you may die, but that’s a risk they’re willing to take.

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Texas Governor Greg Abbot has promised to sign a bill that makes it incredibly difficult for large cities to reduce funding to police departments. The bill affects cities with over 250,000 residents, and states that any reduction in funding must first go through a municipal election. Additionally, cities cannot reduce the number of officers that the city is allowed to employ.

I spent a few minutes trying to think of some clever loopholes around the bill (e.g. a hiring freeze, but only for police officers), but I quickly realized that wasn’t helpful or interesting. …


Why abolishing the police got brought up in the first place.

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It wouldn’t have been too long ago that the idea of abolishing the police would have seemed completely ridiculous to me. Even defunding the police wouldn’t have made sense in my head. We need the police, right? They keep us safe.

The abolition movement toward policing has two big problems, which are both fairly common to radical ideas. First, no matter how good of an idea it is, it runs directly into a wall of deeply ingrained beliefs of tens of millions of Americans. How many of us have grown up thinking that the police were de facto good? How…


Community-based solutions for crime.

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Most conversations around defunding the police will inevitably produce someone saying that without cops, violent crime will overwhelm everything. But, as it turns out, there are lots of ways to control violence that don’t involve the police. Here, I’m taking a look at a program that is designed to interrupt violence before it begins.

Before I get going, I want to make something very clear. Activists who are calling for defunding or even abolishing the police are not saying they want a lawless, Mad Max-style of living. We’re saying that there are better (i.e. …


A traffic safety example.

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We’re in the middle of a national conversation about policing, and there are a lot of calls to defund or abolish the traditional police model altogether. This raises some important questions, especially around how we can maintain public safety. Luckily, there are many examples from around the world that we can look to. If properly implemented, we could have greater safety and security than ever before.

I want to look at a few different examples that focus on specific issues of public safety. For this article, I’m going to be talking about a traffic safety program called Vision Zero that…


We’ve got to start somewhere.

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You can hear people talking about defunding the police or abolishing the police or reforming the police, but the real-world implications of these strategies are often hidden. What does it really mean to defund the police?

Part of the problem is that the public often has a very hazy picture of what the police actually do, and what the risks of crime or harm actually are. This isn’t the fault of the public — we’re constantly fed a stream of inaccurate information regarding the police and crime, both from news media and entertainment. …


Police departments keep convincing me that they have no business in public safety.

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I’m a proponent of defunding the police. As it turns out, a lot of people are (even if they don’t understand the term). It’s a practical, straight-forward, very doable process, which would lead to better public safety outcomes for literally every single person in the country.

Defunding the police can be done immediately by cities. In large cities, once or twice a year, police departments hire new recruits and put them through a training academy. …


The beatings will continue until morale improves.

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Imagine a husband who beats his wife. He physically assaults her, manipulates her, isolates her from friends and family, controls her. She tells herself that it’s okay, because he puts food on the table. She tells herself that maybe she deserves it when he hits her, and that she just needs to be a little better.

Now imagine that this abused woman is given help from someone else. Someone tells her that she can get away from this man. This person gives her money to start a new life. But instead of doing any of that, the woman gives the…


It’s time for city leadership to step up.

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I recently wrote about a study that found that White or male police officers are more likely to use force or arrest someone than Black or female police officers. The study suggested that departments should hire more Black and female police officers in order to promote de-escalation.

While it’s true that there should definitely be more diversity in hiring for police departments, a new article in The Crime Report adds a horrible wrinkle to this problem.

It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, but the police culture that results in White officers disproportionately arresting, searching, and using force…


We’re left walking on eggshells.

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I’ve written before about how policing contributes to racial inequities by its very nature. A new piece of research out of Chicago is showing how racial inequities occur based on the responding officer. In this study, researchers were able to analyze a massive dataset to identify differences in police actions based on the race and gender of the officer involved, as well as the citizen.

The short version is that the authors found that Black officers and female officers were significantly less likely to arrest or use force against citizens than White officers or male officers. The effect was especially…

Davin Hall

Formerly a law enforcement data analyst. Currently testing the notion of whether quitting your job to follow your dream is really a good idea. Twitter: @geogeng

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