If you've been avoiding social media the past few weeks like I have, then you probably don't know that many people are calling for the government to defund the police in light of the police killings of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. I stand with the Black Lives Matter Movement, but this is where I have to draw the line.
Defunding the police will only cause a number of things and there aren't many good outcomes.
In 2019, police officers in Alabama earned about $46, 510. The state that had the lowest average is Mississippi standing, at $36, 290. As far as individual policemen and policewomen go, California officers earned the most with the salary being $105,220. Looking at the numbers and being the person who wants equality for all, I can see why people want funding sent to other aspects of their communities, like more community centers for the youth, shelters for the homeless, more job programs for the jobless, and better education.
But the rational and logical side of me says that defunding the police only brews a worse storm than what's happening now.
Say the community centers are up and running and the neighborhood kids have a place to go. That's great but there won't be enough police officers around to protect the center at night, especially in cities where crime is very high. Shelters for the homeless is great and will for sure reduce homelessness, but what if an altercation breaks out and the police are spread so thin they can't respond on time? These are only a few of the potential incidents I could list.
I see the good in defunding the police, but I also see the bad — which is why defunding the police absolutely, under no circumstances, can happen.
At some point, you have to think about the greater good and how it will affect others. Crime rates will rise and if you think that things are bad now, it'll get worse because you'll have more people thinking, "I need to police the neighborhood" and take matters into their own hands — which means more people who will go for a run in their neighborhood, like Ahmaud Arbery, will die for no reason. You could even have laid-off officers want to take their anger out on someone, which will also increase the murder rate and domestic violence rates.
I agree with President Donald Trump on barely anything, but I do agree with him that defunding the police can't happen. Joe Biden, the presumed Democratic nominee for president and former vice president, even said there will be no defunding of the police. Congressional Democrats have already created a bill, the Justice in Policing Act, which bans chokeholds and drug-related no-knock warrants and requires local police departments to send data on the use of force to the federal government.
The bill is a first step after years and years of black Americans calling for justice. The bill doesn't have to be us as a society settling though, so continue to sign petitions in your local area, protest peacefully, and fight the good fight on the right side.