Lindsay Bowe

August 30, 2022 | 1 Min, 3 Secs Read

"Here’s an infographic to go with your ice cream!"

When calls to defund the police roared after the murder of George Floyd in 2020, the country was outraged. Half supported the idea of reallocating police funding to public services like housing, education, and mental healthcare, which have been shown to reduce crime (and thereby reduce the need for officers to enforce the law). The other half responded with a pro-police campaign that vehemently condemned anyone who wanted accountability for officers who fail to protect the public or in some cases, actually cause harm.

Here’s a great way to visualize what the defund police movement is actually calling for, courtesy of Ben & Jerry’s. For decades, politicians have been funneling billions of taxpayer dollars and impossible responsibilities to police departments (big bowl) instead of using our money to address underlying public health issues (small bowls). It’s not fair to expect police to diagnose and treat mental illness, for example, and its unethical to criminalize those suffering from undiagnosed mental illness who cannot afford diagnosis and treatment.

Even when we treat public health issues before they become threats to public safety, we’ll probably always need some police presence in our communities. But, recent events have raised serious doubts about how effective existing law enforcement institutions are at protecting us.

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