Brooklyn Center provides a model for re-examining public safety

US Police On HorsebackSource: ACLU News
published: 24 May 2021

The only way to end police violence is to reduce the roles, resources, and power of police. Brooklyn Center Minnesota just provided a model for cities across America.

Daunte Wright and Kobe Dimock-Hesiler should still be alive today. Instead, both of their lives were cut short by the Brooklyn Center Police. Daunte Wright was killed at just 20 years old after being pulled over due to expired registration. Wright’s killing joins a long list of Black people whose lives were taken at the hands of law enforcement due to the unnecessary criminalization of minor, petty offenses, the largest cause of police killings.

Eric Garner was killed by an NYPD officer for selling loose cigarettes without a tax stamp, Rekia Boyd and her friends for making noise in a park, and Walter Scott for driving with a broken brake lamp.

Out of the 10.3 million arrests made per year by police, only 5 percent of those are for the most serious crimes (rape, murder, aggravated assault, etc.). The remaining 95 percent are a mixture of offenses that are unnecessarily criminalized and offenses that could have been prevented with investments to address poverty, drug and alcohol addiction, education, and joblessness.

This means that police dedicate the majority of their time arresting people for non-serious offenses or those that would not have taken place absent our massive societal overinvestment in police at the expense of all else.

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