Have you heard the news? The Minneapolis City Council has voted UNANIMOUSLY to disband the city’s police department. Now some of you reactionary, non-woke conservatives may think that’s a terrible idea. After all, part of Minneapolis already looks like a war zone and that’s WITH the police on the job. If this is what Minneapolis looks like with a police department, albeit one that was prevented from doing its job by the mayor, what would it look like after?
Minneapolis, looking like the aftermath of a war. pic.twitter.com/eEiF6gkJdL
— Mark Higgie (@MarkHiggie1) June 6, 2020
You might also point out that Minneapolis hasn’t had a Republican mayor in 50 years. It’s a city that is run top to bottom by Democrats. If they think the police department there is hopelessly racist and unfixable, who is to blame? It can’t be Republicans, can it? Republicans didn’t put together that police force. Republicans didn’t burn down black businesses in that city. On the contrary, we publicly begged a liberal-run city to stop black-run businesses from being looted and destroyed and nobody listened to us.
So, in a big country like America, maybe it is time to try a nice, natural experiment. If Minneapolis doesn’t want a police department, let them get rid of it. Then they can send social workers or groups of students out to shame criminals in the street or whatever floats their little progressive boats. More likely, they’ll just claim that they’re getting rid of the police department and then recreate it under another name, but we should hope not. After all, there are an awful lot of liberal Democrats who earnestly believe that getting rid of the police department is a great idea. If you don’t believe that, watch the mayor of Minneapolis, Jacob Frey, who coddled the rioters from start to finish, being forced by protesters to do a walk of shame for refusing to commit to abolishing the police department.
"Go home Jacob! Go home!"
— ABC News (@ABC) June 7, 2020
If they get rid of the police department, the most likely outcome is that it will turn out to be a horrible idea. However, as George Bernard Shaw said, “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” Maybe we need some unreasonable men to prove that the police are no longer needed in Minneapolis. This also applies to the “defund the police crowd.” The more you “defund the police,” the more armed gangs of citizens, criminals, and private security will have to step in to fill the gap. If you like the idea of “justice” being delivered by militias driving around in pick-up trucks with assault rifles, maybe that sounds better to you that it does to the rest of us. Again though, maybe we’d be surprised by the outcome and police officers would turn out to do a better job with less money, fewer officers on the street, and less authority to do their jobs. However, the more likely outcome of an end to the police department in Minneapolis would be dramatically increased crime and violence and a Detroit-style exodus of anyone with the means to move, turning the city into a poor, crime-ridden mess that the people in charge would futilely try to fix too late in the game by bringing the police back.
All this seems really obvious to most of us, but we’re not liberals and many of us are also aware that contrary to what you hear, the police function very well in most of the country. Only 28 unarmed people of any race were killed by the police in 2019 and more of them were white than black. Police brutality is also very uncommon. As Law Enforcement Today noted well before all of this started:
A good friend of mine who is a Chief of Police put that into perspective:
- You are seven times more likely to be murdered …
- 15 times more likely to be killed in a traffic accident
- 42 times more likely to be raped …
… than to have a police officer use excessive force on you.
Most of the police departments in America are already doing a good job. Could they do better as a whole? Are certain departments not doing as well as others? Should cops that do the wrong thing be punished for it? Should cops be called out when they do the wrong thing? Absolutely. Like a lot of conservatives, I spent weeks leading up to these riots criticizing the cops taking license plate numbers in church parking lots and arresting people for opening their businesses. But, if you want a world where there are no bad cops and no cops ever make mistakes, you can’t have it. The world just doesn’t work that way for anything and it’s certainly not going to work that way when we ask cops to deal with the worst people in our society, under difficult circumstances, and with extremely stringent conditions applied to their behavior in place. The surprise isn’t that there are police officers that screw-up, it’s that we don’t see 10 times more of them blowing it given the incredibly difficult jobs they have to do.
So, if Minneapolis wants to get rid of the police, terrific. They can’t get started soon enough. We’ve all seen movies about places without the police like Mad Max and Escape from New York, so even if this whole thing turns into a disaster as expected, maybe we’ll get a movie out of it or alternately, maybe, just maybe, that failure will teach people what happens when fools ignore the obvious truth to pander to the mob. John Hawkins runs the men’s website Brass Pills, is the author of 101 Things All Young Adults Should Know and you can follow his work on Facebook here.