The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike sleeping under bridges, begging in the streets, and stealing bread. - Anatole France
A mailer from the Sacramento County Deputy Sheriff's Association arrived recently, reminding me that if we don't support fully funding the police, bad things will happen. On the cover, masked burglar pries open a door, next to "Do you feel safe?" in large letters. My question: Are these peace officers or the mafia, extorting money from the fearful?
Is police funding excessive?
U.S. population: 1981 - 229.5 million - 2017 - 325.1 million... a 42% increase...compared to...
Police funding: 1981 - $40 billion - 2017 - $115 billion....a 187.5% increase.
Hmmm, I wonder!
And, for generations, the U.S. has been defunding social safety net programs that would make police force unnecessary. This includes evicting mental patients from asylums, reducing welfare, and being miserly with Social Security Disability.
Some policemen (and women) are genuine peace officers, not the army of occupation, and I want their jobs to be safer. We used to acknowledge that the social safety net was a cheap way to ensure peace. Now, people often believe only frauds get such support. As Warren Buffet acknowledges, there's a class war going on, "And," he says, "my class is winning."
Meanwhile, the police are left to face the desperate, with limited remedies, aside from force, for that desperation. For the Deputy Sherrif's Association, the beatings will continue until morale improves!<
Locally, 71% of Sacramento County's General Fund goes to Law Enforcement, Jails and Courts. The County spends tens of millions settling cases of abuse by law enforcement.
The idea of defunding the police is a start, and certainly one whose time has arrived. Sure, the police will protest, but they serve us.
Crime and arrests have been declining in recent years, too, but the County jail (pre-quarantine) was full! Sixty percent of its inmates were not convicted of anything except being unable to afford bail. That's right, it's illegal to be poor in Sacramento.
As with many problems, the complete solution is simple.
- Everyone has to use a public defender for all cases, civil and criminal.
- Assign public defenders randomly. (Note: now prosecutors get roughly five times more money than public defenders.)
- The penalty for (convicted) tampering is an automatic life sentence without parole.
- Everyone has the right to a jury trial if they choose and juries are told about jury nullification.
- No pleading, all cases get a trial.
- End cash bail and monetary penalties for criminal cases, since they make some crimes not crimes for the rich.
No one should be able to use power or money to buy a better version of anything important: justice, health care, education, security, etc. The second elites have to use the same lawyers as everyone else, and can’t game it, the system starts working. (from Ian Welsh)
The idea of defunding the police is a start, and certainly one whose time has arrived. Sure, the police will protest, but they serve us, not vice versa.
It's Simpler Than It Looks