Mapping the world's opinions

convo top image

What is the role of the police in America?

The American police force has the capacity to do most anything, but there is currently much controversy about what exactly they should be doing. Given the police’s almost boundless authority, defining their job is imperative to maintaining our constitutional rights while keeping everyone as safe as possible.

To enforce the legal system

The police are the bulk of our executive branch, and do the footwork of the legislature and judiciary.

To arrest people & stop crime

The police’s role is to police – meaning their sole job is to disrupt criminal activity. Explore

To deter & prevent crime

More police presence equals safer communities because the police are better able to enforce laws. This enforcement of laws is their main task, as they do the footwork of the judiciary. Explore

To be re-envisioned

Rather than act as disciplinary and punitive forces, the police could act as rehabilitators.

Police could be reimagined as enforcers of “transit prisons.”

Rather than lock people away from society, police could let them live in a society with appropriate limits in a broadening of the institution of probation. Explore

To keep communities safe

Our society is a more hostile place than were the sleepy villages of centuries past. Therefore, our modern society needs police to make our towns safe.

To serve & protect

This twofold phrase accurately conveys that police must balance protecting citizens and apprehending criminals. In doing so, they help everyone in their community live in peace while letting the justice system handle law-breakers. Explore

To hurt people & ruin lives

The police serve no purpose other than perpetuating a system of brutality and oppression.

To enforce a racist agenda.

The American police was founded in the 1800s as a service to return slaves to their owners and methodically prevent the emancipation and liberation of black bodies. 200 years later the modern American police force can be seen as a direct descendant of that project - preventing the social mobility of PoC, not by returning them to slave owners but by moving them to the prison industrial complex. The modern American police can be seen as the enforcement arm of a centuries old political project to subjugate people of colour. Explore
This page was last edited on Monday, 3 Aug 2020 at 12:01 UTC