DISARMAMENT & DEMILITARIZATION

Pushing for a new “modern” way.

Defunding the police puts an end to the mass surveillance of Black communities, and the end to the use of technologies that criminalize and target our communities (including IMSI catchers, drones, body cameras, and predictive policing software). 

Policing has become increasingly militarized across North America, where raids, SWAT teams and high artillery weapons are sources of trauma and violence against Black communities in particular, where – Somali elder, for example, have described being “brutalized” in targeted raids in their communities.

Countless reports on how to address root causes of violence in communities, including gun violence, have been conducted:  they do *not* call for increased or more militarized policing, but for increased funding for community programs, art programs, after school programs:  (in Toronto, see  the Roots of Youth Violence Report And Rooted in Action: A Youth-Led Report on Our Demands and Plans to Address the Root Causes of Violence in Our Communities

2000%

Canada deployments of SWAT teams has risen
over the past 37 yrs.

USA

a SWAT team shot and killed 7-year-old Aiyana Jones

Instead of community-funding, cities across North America purchase tanks, sound cannons, and deploy SWAT teams: in Canada, research published in 2018 found that the deployments of SWAT teams has risen over 2000 percent over the past 37 years, and  “routine policing represented the majority of SWAT team use: SWAT teams are increasingly being used by public police for routine activities such as executing warrants, traffic enforcement, community policing and responding to mental health crises and domestic disturbances”. In the US, a SWAT team shot and killed 7-year-old Aiyana Jones while she was asleep on her couch in Detroit, Michigan. This is unnecessary and creates wholly preventable and tragic forms of violence.

Militarized policing is also continuously used against Black, Indigenous, and other social justice and protest movements, as the current violent crackdown on protestors and the Toronto Police Services mass-human rights abuses during the G20 protests. 

The immediate disarming and de-militarization of policing is a necessity as we move toward community safety. 

The push toward new “modern” policing technologies like Stingray, drones, body cameras, and predictive policing increases surveillance against Black communities as well as posing enormous privacy issues, and increasing, rather than decreasing reliance and funding for law enforcement agencies.

SOURCES

Brendan Roziere, Kevin Walby, Police Militarization in Canada: Media Rhetoric and Operational Realities, Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice, Volume 13, Issue 4, December 2019, Pages 470–482