If you want to know how abolishing the police could work and what society would look like without police, the Wikipedia page on the movement is not a bad place to start. For more information, search engines are amazing tools.
What I want to do here in this blog post is add something to the argument that police must be abolished if we want to live in a just and safe society.
Imagine you're an entitled, abusive asshole of a person who just wants the power to hurt people with impunity. Now imagine that you can go to any city in the U.S. and get a job with a healthy salary and paid training, plenty of opportunity for advancement and raises, and be handed a gun and an arsenal of other dangerous weapons and told you're a soldier of justice and promised that the entire force of your coworkers and bosses and a powerful union will be behind you if you're caught doing anything wrong, up to and including shooting, beating, or choking someone to death. Imagine being offered a job where you're told you're better than the common people, deserve special respect and basically adulation and total compliance from the public, that they must bow to your every whim or deserve to be brutalized.
Please explain to me how we allowed this.
You know what else sucks about police? They're basically allowed to throw anyone they want in prison no matter what they do. If a cop decides they want to hurt you and get you thrown into prison for it, all they have to do is twist your arm painfully behind your back, shove your face into the ground, kneel on you with their full body weight, etc., all while shouting "stop resisting."
They can even convince themselves that you were resisting. All they have to do is wrench one of your limbs so hard it feels like it's going to break or cause you any kind of unbearable pain. Your lizard brain will override all higher functioning to reflexively resist. You literally cannot help resisting that kind of thing. But any resistance to dislocating your shoulder or choking you to death and you're slapped with resisting arrest and assault of a police officer, bye.
How fucked up is that? We put up with this because we were raised on this absurdity and told it won't happen to us as long as we don't break the law or do anything to enrage these people who have double to triple the rates of domestic abuse charges on their records as the general population. We white people, especially, put up with it because our white privilege protects us, reducing the chances that we'll become another victim of a cop. But faced with this reality, can you really turn away and do nothing? Do you want to live in a world like this?
Partially defunding the police isn't enough. The foundation of the system of policing is rotten. We must tear it down and build something on a firm foundation of actual justice, compassion, and respect for all persons.
If you need me, I'll be yelling at Democrats on Twitter trying to water down the movement into nothing. Nothing less than total abolition is acceptable, and yes that does mean abolishing prisons and capitalism, too, but you know I'm so down for that.