What Abolishing the Police Means to Me: A Student's Perspective
September 30, 2020
Read the introduction to this essay by Education Week staff writer Corey Mitchell, "Are Strained Police Relations With Black Teens a Solvable Problem?"
Policing in America has roots in the slave patrols designed to end resistance or uprisings within the slave community. I acknowledge this history so you can understand the inherent fear Black people already have toward the police. We can recognize the connection between Nat Turner and George Floyd, who were killed 189 years apart, both by a racist system.
This summer, I participated in Word Is Bond's Rising Leaders program, which empowers young Black men through leadership development, critical dialogue with police, and education. That experience has only strengthened my stance on the need for police abolition. None of the officers I interacted with, some of whom even policed my own neighborhood, had grown up or lived in north Portland, Ore. So how could they fully understand the people who live here? And they aren't contributing members of the community here, because they spend their paychecks elsewhere.