For many years, black and brown Americans living in cities, towns and rural areas across the nation have rightfully been afraid of uniformed officers. Far too often, police officers engage in indefensible violence against the very people they are supposed to serve and protect.
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The long arm (and brutal violence) of the law also extends to homeless populations, the mentally ill, sex workers, people facing eviction, protestors, workers on strike and many others. This is a result of the emergence of the new Gilded Age brought on by austerity and ever-widening economic gaps.
We talk with Professor Alex Vitale (@avitale) at Brooklyn College about policing in our current state of affairs. We discuss the need for police, how liberal politicians continue to support the police (as well large numbers of rank and file Democrats, according to polls) and the influence and role of police unions. We also get into the “Defund the Police” movement, the backlash against it, the war on drugs, gun control and how the current debate around police is effected by rising homicide rates.