People Are Sharing All the Ways the Police Never Helped Them
As we talk about the movement to defund/dismantle the police, those opposed to the idea love to swoop in with an “Oh yeah, well who’s gonna come help and protect you when you need it?” That question operates from a place of extreme privilege, because to ask it in the first place, you have to not worry that calling the police in a time of need will result in violence against you—something Black and other POC have to worry about every day.
The question also assumes that even if calling the police won’t result in active harm, it will result in actual help. And that’s a pretty naive view of the police.
Genuine question for the people who are worried about who you would call in the case of a robbery if the police get defunded: have you ever been robbed, and what did the police do to help?
— Illy Bocean (@IllyBocean) June 8, 2020
Tons of people have been sharing their own experiences with the police failing to help when they’ve needed it. (Many of these are really personal and sensitive, hence the blurring on some. Also, content warning for domestic abuse, rape, and police malfeasance.)
“What are we supposed to do about it” has been the answer the three times I have ever called the cops https://t.co/mpftuWYuCa
— GABY DUNN 🏳️🌈✡️ (@gabydunn) June 9, 2020
People who are like “but who will you call if you get robbed?” have never called the cops when they’ve been robbed. The cops give zero shits. If they bother filling out a form you’ve done lucked out.
— Ben is concerned about everything right now (@BenKuchera) June 8, 2020
I have called the police four times in my life, all for car-break-ins, and every time they showed up like two or three hours later and basically laughed at me; they usually laughed at my beater car too
— Amber Sparks🪓 (@ambernoelle) June 8, 2020
Came home to find man in my apartment, called police, they told me to call back later. I repeated he was still in the apartment. So they were all “oh! Guess we’ll show up then”. The guy took off and they didn’t get him. They told me their arrest rate on burglary is close to 0.
— Rachael Lonergan (@RachaelHasIdeas) June 8, 2020
For anyone who’s ever shamed a victim of sexual assault or domestic violence for not reporting the crime, here’s some insight as to how futile and traumatizing that process very often is.
This thread is also a really illuminating and depressing look into how police are instructed to manufacture crime:
A long time ago, when I was younger and dumber, I did a police ride-along with a high school classmate who had gone on to become a cop.
It was one of the most chilling and radicalizing nights of my life. (Thread)
— Sean Trainor (@ess_trainor) June 7, 2020
I recommend the whole thread but here’s the key bit:
And that was night: a full shift devoted to manufacturing crime — desperately searching for reasons to pull people over and then harassing people until they snapped.
My classmate wasn’t an exception to his department’s rule. He wasn’t a “bad apple.” As he told it, he was doing exactly what his department expected him to do. He saw himself — in fact had been trained to see himself — as a dog protecting sheep from wolves. But from inside his car, the sheep receded from view, and all the flesh-and-blood people in his community — and especially the people of color — took on a decidedly wolf-like aspect. He clearly viewed them as enemies and interacted with them as such.
In short, nothing he did made anyone safer. He didn’t protect or defend a damn thing, except white supremacy and class domination. His entire shift had been devoted to profiling, harassing, and intimidating people.
There’s a reason (a lot of reasons) why people are so opposed to the idea that giving more resources to the police will solve any of these problems.
I was told point blank by a cop “we won’t do anything, but file a report so the recorded crime rate goes up and then we can ask for more funding”. And I think that’s pretty much the whole grift!
— Illy Bocean (@IllyBocean) June 8, 2020
So many of the resources they already have are so clearly misallocated. If the police aren’t set up to help the people calling them (again, to say nothing of the people they actively harm), stop making police the default response team!
The only time I have called the cops was when my cat was trapped on my neighbor’s balcony because she stupidly jumped over there. When I called 911 I asked for animal control but was told two officers would be arriving to assist. Needless to say, I think we can defund the police.
— Elizabeth⁷ @ Home (@lizzylynngarcia) June 9, 2020
Please watch!!#DefundthePolice means reprioritize the police so they aren’t “responding to the homeless or mental health calls or arresting children in schools or really any other situation where the best solution is not somebody showing up with a gun.”pic.twitter.com/8FAq78Geeu
— Billy Baldwin (@BillyBaldwin) June 9, 2020
Just because the police have been the go-to institution for basically all of our safety issues for centuries doesn’t mean it’s working (it’s not) and doesn’t mean change isn’t possible (it is).
You don’t believe in community policing but you love Murder, She Wrote? I never saw Jessica flash a fuckin badge……
— Joel Kim Booster (@ihatejoelkim) June 9, 2020
(image: EVA MARIE UZCATEGUI/AFP via Getty Images)
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