Why Defunding the Police is Destructive to Civil Society

On June 17, 2020, The City Council of Norman Oklahoma voted to defund our police department by $885,000.00. Although there are other reasons, I argued these eight points in support of the police and against defunding. They are easily applicable to police departments across America.

Why we should not defund the police:

  • It ignores the cries of all the innocents: I stand against all injustices. Many who seek the defunding of police departments because of an injustice done by officers’ handling of George Floyd do so by inflicting (or approving of such) injustices on countless innocent lives and their livelihoods. Something from which they will never recover. We must not even tacitly countenance such unjustness.
  • It entrusts public safety to anarchists: Our local deliberations cannot be isolated from the pressures wrought by those who have strewn unlawful, heinous barbarism against innocent, law-abiding citizens across our land. Their propagation of anarchical terrorism to get their way proves they cannot be trusted to protect our society; therefore, we need the police now more than ever, and the police need our vocal support.
  • It wantonly penalizes every respectable police officer: To establish such a pattern is to sanction inequality, which is the very thing civil societies seek to eliminate.
  • It violates reason: Neither common sense nor statistical research supports the notion that the police are needed less in the day in which we live than yesterday. Nor is there evidence to support that systemic racism plagues our police departments; this does not suggest there are not some racist police officers as there may be individual racists in other professions. To portray the problem various cultures experience as caused only by systemic racism is to ignore and thereby perpetuate the actual issues like the systemic breakdown of the family, the systemic blaming of black crime on racism or the legacy of slavery, demeaning of black Americans by the perpetuation of the welfare state, and the fight by the NAACP and the NEA against school choice. To hear the counterarguments to claims of systemic racism being the problem, I encourage you to read and listen to black intellectuals and scholars such as Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, Robert L. Woodson Sr., Shelby Steele, Glenn Loury, Jason Riley, and Larry Elder.[1]
  • It erects a faulty trajectory: It is neither moral nor reasonable to deal with an immoral police officer by penalizing all police officers. It is as flawed as it would be to defund education of all students because of some bad students or punish all doctors, preachers, and even city council representatives because of a rogue member. To dismiss this reason because one thinks the scenario we are embroiled in cannot be expanded to include our own vocations or affect a person’s ability to serve in public life safely is actually to give evidence for this point.
  • It undermines consensual politics: To either defund or reduce police departments’ budgets in a climate of fear emanating from protests that either may or do turn into anarchical riots encourages more of the same by more groups over more issues. Anarchists are emboldened and are not satisfied for the long-term by such concessions.
  • It discriminates against every law-abiding citizen: Every law-abiding citizen who is grateful for our police and the job they do daily deserves police protection. The notion that we need to decrease that protection is contrary to reality.
  • It is an acquiescence to fear: This is not a denial of the misuse of power by some police officers, rather it is to argue that the facts do not back up a claim that police departments generally, and the Norman Police Department specifically, suffer from systemic racism or epidemic corruption or deserve a reduction in funding.

[1] I refer to men like these as “black intellectuals and scholars” only to highlight that they are black so they cannot be dismissed because some think they are white. They are, in every sense, intellectuals and scholars at the highest level of all ethnicities and races.