Five years ago people were told, “Don’t worry, we’re going to take care of it. We’re going to give the police some implicit bias training. We’re going to have some community meetings. We’re going to give them some body cameras and it’s all going to get better.” And five years later, it’s not better. Nothing has changed. People are not going to listen to any more pablum about community meetings.
Minneapolis is a liberal city in both the best and the worst senses of the word. Five years ago, they fully embraced the idea that they could get out of their policing problem by having people sit around and talk about racism. They tried all these tactics to restore community trust in the police while at the same time the police were permitted to on waging a war on drugs, a war on gangs, a war on crime, and criminalizing poverty and mental illness and homelessness.
It’s not just Minneapolis. One of the things you heard a lot was this idea that we needed to jail killer cops. This is a dead-end strategy. First of all, the legal system is designed to protect police. It’s not an accident. It’s not a bug. It’s a feature. Secondly, when police are prosecuted, the system tosses them out and says, “Oh they were a bad apple. We got rid of them. See, the system works.”
So people are realizing this type of procedural reform will do nothing to change policing. Where’s the evidence?