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As Minneapolis agrees to disband its police force and Denver votes unanimously to remove police from its public schools, police abolition has entered the public consciousness with full force and considerable support. Alongside select archival essays, this special project features lawyers, activists, historians and more responding to the demands of the 2020 uprisings. They not only boldly imagine an abolitionist future without police and prisons, but outline the steps needed to get us there.
In this interview, sociologist Alex Vitale explains how the policing crisis in the United States begins with politics—the decision to embrace neoliberal austerity and to turn the social problems it creates over to police.
As post-Katrina New Orleans illustrates, even ambitious attempts to reform police leave intact the structures of racial violence. Worse yet, such efforts drain public money that could instead have been invested in caring for communities.
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