An opinion page in Thursday’s New York Times chastised police as being nothing more than thugs who are willing to do whatever they can to fill the country’s prison cells.
In the piece, titled: “The Police Can’t Solve the Problem. They Are the Problem,” attorneys Derecka Purnell and Marbre Stahly-Butts trace their opinion to the perceived effects of the 1994 crime bill former President Bill Clinton signed into law.
The authors believe, “the reality is this: The police fill prisons. We can’t repair the harm that the 1994 crime bill has done by promoting mass incarceration without reducing the size and scope of the police.”
Purnell & Stahly-Butts also praised current New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to close Rikers Island by 2026 as a step in the ‘right’ direction.
De Blasio, who failed in his attempt to run for the Democratic nomination for President, is not seen as a “pro-police” politician. In fact, NYPD has been seen a rash of disrespectful outbursts from the public within the last few months after de Blasio encouraged officers not to engage or arrest individuals who verbally harass officers to the point of near violence.
The human-rights attorneys also said the recently signed criminal justice reform bill by President Trump is good, but still not enough. They both wrote there was room for more reforms, and failed to address the homeless population writing, “last week, White House economists announced a plan to use the police to get homeless people ‘off the street.’ This direction is misguided. Police officers cannot solve underlying causes of homelessness or other social problems. They can only temporarily manage these issues with punishment and more violence.”
Their final point was to minimize the impact law enforcement can have on a community. They called for regular people to become first responders themselves rather than ones trained and skilled to handle such tasks. “Community organizations are working to solve the problems our communities face without putting them in more danger,” the authors wrote. “The Oakland Power Projects trains community members in health skills and emergency response practices to reduce reliance on the police.”
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