In The End of Policing, Alex Vitale explores significant questions about the role and impact of policing in the United States and how we have relied on the police to intervene when interventions might get better results in terms of public safety. He cites Chief David Brown of the Dallas Police who argues:
We’re asking cops to do too much in this country. We are. Every societal failure, we put it off on the cops to solve. Not enough mental health funding, let the cops handle it … Here in Dallas we got a loose dog problem; let’s have the cops chase loose dogs. Schools fail, let’s give it to the cops … That’s too much to ask. Policing was never meant to solve all those problems.”
In the first video I’ve posted to Module 8, “We Asked Cops about Defundin (Links to an external site.)g” (at 27:44 in the tape), Louis Molina says “we need to defund the police” for the some of the very same reasons that Brown argues – that funding that goes to policing might better be served for providing social services and housing. He believes that while we still need “a public safety apparatus,” the protests have shown the need for “redefining [the police’s] role” the police play in terms of public safety in our communities. Later, referring to Chief Brown, Wendy Stivers contends that we have an “opportunity” to “transform what we’re doing to be more effective” (around 30:37).
In a 5-7 page research essay in MLA style, using The End of Policing and the sources I’ve provided to you as your springboard to discussing the issue of policing in America and the role of law enforcement, prison and criminal justice. After doing your research, what do you think needs to be done to make our communities more just and safe? Discuss Louis Molina’s question – “what do we want to the police to respond to in moments of crisis”? What situations should police respond to? When should other agencies be called? What would you do if you were Mayor or Governor to reduce crime and violence? Would you reform, defund or abolish the police? Based on your research and experience, why or why not?
To support your opinions you will have to cite from the following MINIMUM 6 sources:
1. The End of Policing
2. One other source I’ve provided you with (the videos or something else or a source mentioned in The End of Policing).
3. A relevant, credible video/film from Kanopy, Youtube or elsewhere
4. An article from the De Anza databases
5. A relevant government website
6. A credible source that you have found that I approve of
You may also consider doing some kind of interview with someone from law enforcement, activists working in this area or any other relevant interview that I approve.
You will be doing two FULL drafts of this essay – a first draft and a revision. I will grade both. Your first draft must have a minimum of 4 FULL PAGES with 4 of your 6 sources, a works cited page and a Writing Reflection.
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