Actually, I Am Anti-Police
Date Written: 2017-01-01
Publisher: Against the Current
Year Published: 2017
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX21527
The I'm not anti-police stance would work if, and only if, police brutality could be separated from the nature of policing. But it can't. That's because the major purpose of policing is to maintain the supremacy of the ruling class.
Police brutality is the byproduct of the racist, coercive institution of policing. The daily, unjustified murders of numerous unarmed Black and brown people by law enforcement officials across the nation are a form of terrorism - this is what will happen to you if you disobey. To reduce the issue of police brutality to the intentions of individual officers is to ignore the basis of policing. As James Baldwin expressed in "A Report from Occupied Territory," which appeared in The Nation in 1966, "They are present to keep the Negro in his place and to protect white business interests, and they have no other function."
When I say that I am anti-police, it does not mean that I think all police officers are bad people. Again, this is not about individual police officers, and it's not as simple as good cop or bad cop. I am merely recognizing that the institution as a whole has been an instrument since its inception for the subjugation of poor, Black and brown people.