Is Police Violence Really a Problem of a Few “Bad Apples”?

Last week, prosecutors brought criminal charges against the police officers involved in the arrest and death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore.  Many people welcomed this development, taking it as a sign that the justice system can work to root out the individuals who are responsible for brutality.  An Anarres contributor ponders whether the problem of police violence in communities of color isn’t really about deeper structural and cultural issues.  


Chris Crass

Policing in ‪#‎Baltimore‬, Ferguson, NYC, and around the country isn’t broken, it’s working brutally and efficiently as designed. They are highly effective in their purpose as the armed enforcers of an economy that exploits and robs poor and working class people, particularly communities of color, and a political system that extracts power from poor and working class communities, with communities of color hardest hit. The police are the internal army designed to further, enforce, and maintain a deeply unequal society. The police were never intended to respect, let alone protect, Black lives. Police are intended to maintain white supremacist capitalist patriarchy, period. 

‪#‎BlackLivesMatter‬ isn’t about removing bad apples, it’s about building a new ecosystem rooted in collective liberation, with Black liberation at the core. The Black Lives Matter movement is the leading edge in uniting us for a better world. For white people, our charge us both throwing down against white supremacy and to join with Black leadership to build up the world our children and elders deserve. ‪#‎BlackSpring‬

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