Defunding the police requires understanding what role policing plays in our society

Two contrasting perspectives have emerged in response to recent calls to “defund” police. One perspective—espoused by some activists on the political left—holds that policing is fatally broken, cannot be fixed through any reforms and ought to be cancelled outright through financial asphyxiation. The second perspective argues that policing takes an outsized and unnecessary share of government budgets, and organizes around reassigning cuts in police budget to social welfare…

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