A veto-proof majority of Minneapolis’ city council have vowed to not only reduce funding to the city’s police department, but to disband it altogether. They say they mean to “end policing as we know it and recreate systems that actually keep us safe.” This was after boy-Mayor Jacob Frey was publicly shamed by a crowd of protesters for refusing to support defunding police after he’d begged them for absolution.
The city seems dead-set on dismantling its law enforcement capabilities, because, defunding supporters claim, “police are not able to create safety for communities.” If they think it’s bad now, just wait until there’s no one but social and community service workers to call when their car is stolen, someone is breaking into their home or robbing the local convenience store.
[People concerned about saving black lives] should also resist calls from prominent Democrats to “defund the police.” Police save many lives in the black community by arresting dangerous people. Black people are much more likely to be killed by an ordinary criminal than by a police officer. Peter Kirsanow, a black civil-rights commissioner, says that in “2015, a cop was 18.5 times more likely to be killed by a black male than an unarmed black male was likely to be killed by a cop.”
Cutting police funding may leave the police without the manpower needed to investigate and arrest many violent criminals. It is often harder to investigate murders in poor black neighborhoods, where witnesses fear retaliation. For example, Chicago solves 47% of cases when a murder victim is white, but only 22% of cases when the victim is black.
When criminals are arrested and jailed, that reduces the crime rate. The National Bureau of Economic Research discusses how “sentence enhancements reduce crime,” by keeping “repeat offenders” off the streets. Criminal penalties also save lives by deterring murder. As the Associated Press noted in 2007, “Each execution deters an average of 18 murders, according to a 2003 nationwide study by professors at Emory University. (Other studies have estimated the deterred murders per execution at three, five and 14).”
Removing police from black communities increases the death rate there, because black murder victims are usually killed by other black people in the same community. Eighty-nine percent of black victims are killed by black offenders, according to the FBI.
– Hans Bader in Jumping to conclusions about police killings