|"Try Living In A Society Without A Police Force, and You|
Really Will See That Life Is Nasty, Brutish and Short"
We are seeing the dystopian experimental petri dish of “what America can become” in Seattle. Protestors have taken over city blocks with the support of local officials and established “autonomous zones” where no police are allowed and private ownership rights are ignored.
Perhaps everyone should be allowed to see what Seattle, Minneapolis and other major metropolitan cities far left progressive liberal elected leaders come up with to replace law enforcement. If anyone wants to see what Thomas Hobbes was referring to in "Leviathan" when he said life was "nasty, brutish and short", defunding the police will take us there quickly.
If their solution works, great. If not, the voters deserve proof of their failure to vote them out of office.
James Madison wrote in Federalist 51: “If Men were angels, no government would be necessary.” Mayors and city councils of Seattle and Minneapolis must believe they are living in heaven today, because they have failed Rule #1 of government: Protect Your Constituents.
No one has any idea of what such cities might establish to replace police forces. It might be a team of psychologists or social workers who would respond to emergency requests when a crime is reported. Cities might do away with 911 call centers altogether and replace them with taped recordings of deep thoughts and meditations to calm constituent nerves when under vicious attack.
Assuming municipal police forces are disbanded, what are the likely outcomes for citizens?
Gun ownership will spike in each city and escalate as people defend their families. Since there would be no police force to call for help, inner-city Americans would be forced to resort to live like they were in the Old West where the best gunslinger prevailed.
Wealthier residents would band together to pay for private security to protect their lives and property. Poorer neighborhoods won’t be able to afford private protection, and since publicly funded police protection was abolished, they would be the first ones to suffer, again.
Mafia-style protection will proliferate where Antifa groups, or maybe the real Mafia, extorts money from businesses and people who somehow manage to remain downtown.
As cities depopulate in the wake of anarchist and illegal Antifa-led takeovers of prime metropolitan real estate, businesses will move out of cities that had been rejuvenated by regentrification and renewal efforts since the mid-1990s. Tax bases will dwindle, public services will diminish and downtowns will once again become the dangerous ghost towns many were before experiencing remarkable turnarounds in the last two decades.
There has to be a better way than abandoning inner-city America to anarchists and terrorists.
In the summer of 1975, I went on a public service internship in the Hennepin County Police Department in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Over the door to the locker room, there was a big sign that said: “Remember: The Supreme Court has six months to interpret the Constitution. You have two seconds.”
I never forgot that. The men and women of all races who serve us in the police force are as brave and selfless as the men and women who serve in our military force.
One night, at age 19, I went along on a patrol with a black cop and a white cop after midnight. A shooting at a pool hall was reported, so the cops responded to the call. As we approached the door, the black cop said he would take it from there since it was in a black neighborhood of Minneapolis. He told me later that if any action had to be taken, it would be better if a black cop dealt with a black suspect and witnesses.
In a perfect world, the color of a cop or suspect’s skin would be immaterial. When a black cop kills a black suspect or an Asian or Hispanic police officer shoots an armed suspect of any race, there is not the sort of reaction as when a black suspect is subdued or killed by a white cop.
Perhaps we are moving to a police response based on race to avoid future George Floyd tragedies.
Leaving innocent citizens, mostly the poor in our cities, as we have seen in Chicago, completely unprotected by an armed police force is not the answer.
(first published in North State Journal 6/17/20)