A ‘former bastard cop’ says demilitarizing police and investing in communities can heal society

In one of the most important essays I have read, Officer A. Cab shares his stunning condemnation of police training and policy, referring to himself as a ‘former bastard cop’. And Cab imagines how society could be reshaped to eliminate most violence and criminal activity – by eliminating the need that underlies most of these social ills.

When I was doing my best work as a cop, I was doing mediocre work as a therapist or a social worker. My good deeds were listening to people failed by the system and trying to unite them with any crumbs of resources the structure was currently denying them … Armed, indoctrinated (and dare I say, traumatized) cops do not make you safer; community mutual aid networks who can unite other people with the resources they need to stay fed, clothed, and housed make you safer. I really want to hammer this home: every cop in your neighborhood is damaged by their training, emboldened by their immunity, and they have a gun and the ability to take your life with near-impunity. This does not make you safer, even if you’re white.

Pres. Obama agrees with this man. In his 2015 remarks at the NAACP convention, he “laid out the reasons why we need to reform America’s criminal justice system, and why we need to invest in our communities and expand opportunity for all Americans.”

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