It is not possible for the police to not be brutal, capricious, and destructive.
They are a political force chartered through politics. Their paychecks go to ensuring their paychecks. They are accountable only to politicians, and their success is measured in elections. Police killings and brutality are growing because of successful alliances.
Anti-Black politics works for many candidates. White voters go to the polls for brutality. White fear gets officials elected.
The problem is not overpolicing, it is policing itself. Recent years have seen an explosion of protest against police brutality and repression. Among activists, journalists and politicians, the conversation about how to respond and improve policing has focused on accountability, diversity, training, and community relations. Unfortunately, these reforms will not produce results, either alone or in combination. The core of the problem must be addressed: the nature of modern policing itself.
The corruption of the police is deep and broad. It is on the order of corruption in the former Soviet Union. I can’t imagine successful reforms.
I wonder whether any municipality can seal itself off from the consensus form of policing in order to develop a new one that is not toxic. Could my city, Oakland, or my state, California? Would it have to happen at the national level?