Do Not Defund Police

Do Not Defund Police

Resident discusses viewpoint on issue of police brutality

What exactly is “racism?” More exact, what is “systemic racism?” If you should ask two or more people to define “racism” you would get two or more different answers! I do not intend to dismiss nor discount America’s abysmal record of race relations. However, let’s not go “willy nilly” in correcting something not well understood.
One person’s racism may not be another’s racism. I suppose you might call me a racist simply because, quite frankly, I just don’t like some people; White people included, and I try to avoid them.

Vice Mayor John Knox White seems to believe Alameda should follow Oakland’s example of considering de-funding the City’s police department by 50 percent. Does Knox White not understand that Oakland is number 16 out of 25 most dangerous cities in the U.S.? It seems that Oakland’s City Council does not either.

An example is made of the unfortunate episode wherein Alameda police officers, responding to a report of Mali Watkins “dancing” in the street. The caller is unidentified but might assume that they were concerned for his mental state or that he might be struck by a vehicle. Focusing on normal police protocol in such situations the police response seemed excessive to some bystanders when the individual became uncooperative.

Needless to say, the situation deteriorated from there into an embarrassing over response on the part of the police. Knox-White seems to think this is how police respond to “blacks” across the nation, a rather misinformed and preconceived prejudiced opinion.

Several “de-fund” favoring individuals say police should restrict their responses to criminal situations and avoid “low-level nonviolent crime situations.” It seems to me this is exactly what they did several years ago when a disturbed individual was allowed to drown in shallow water just off-shore because police had no protocol for responding to such, “low-level, nonviolent” situations. The ensuing national criticism of the Alameda police was overwhelming.

So, it seems to me, some people would defund our police in favor of forming some type of non-specific social service team trained to defuse “nonviolent, low-level crime situations.” But, what are those situations? How are they determined when they occur? Some of the most dangerous situations police officers face today are vehicle stops, family disturbances and warrant service — all supposed to be non-violent, low-level criminal situations.

Individuals trained in defusing such situations would have no authority to detain or arrest, should an individual suddenly become violent and would have to resort to calling for police support. A convoluted logic in the least!

Defunding the police is a bad idea! If race issues are a problem, wouldn’t it be better to develop an in-service training program; train your officers to understand race issues and how to mitigate delicate situations. Put in place rules of conduct to guide our police officers. The majority of our police officers are courageous, hard-working, and ethical community members.