by Shakaboon Marshall
Parts of the American nation are calling for “De-funding The Police”. Federal and State Legislatures are currently crafting and submitting Policing Reform Bills that are making de-funding police departments a central piece of the bills. But are the Bills’ centerpiece putting the cart before the horse in placing “De-funding the Police” over abolishing police unions?
Black community activists are pressing the political establishment for the de-funding of police departments across the country over abolishing police unions, but are such activists placing the cart before the horse in failing to see that police departments’ ballooning budgets & militarization stem from POLICE UNIONS ability to effectively manipulate the American political system to acquire the tremendous amounts of federal/state funding and massive amount of political power & influence over state/federal governments they have gotten in the first place?
Historically, with the advent of police officers being permitted to form police unions, the police unions have managed to become a major political force in American politics thru lobbying, political funding, & direct political action. Police unions have become so effective at political gamesmanship, that they now have a monopoly on all that encompasses Law & Order in America, and greatly determines passage of laws, policies, practices, & funding regarding the “Law & Order Industrial Complex (LOIC)”. Due to the political activity & influence of police unions in every major City/State of America, Police Departments are now the recipients of huge federal/state funding, massive policing budgets, increasing federal resources & training, and federal-aided militarization in training, weapons sales, & technology. If community activists manage to have laws enacted that de-fund the police, in ten years the police unions will have those de-funding laws either greatly weakened or rescinded altogether.
Therefore, the core problem is not necessarily the funding that the police departments receives per se, the core problem is the POLICE UNIONS (the Unionization of Police Officers) whom have determined to become a powerful political group or party within the American framework by greatly EXPANDING Police Department’s scope of policing duties (relevancy in society), personnel, training, weapons, resources, financial budgets, and MILITARIZED CULTURE.
Police Unions have sought for its police officer membership to be seen as a hybrid group of “workers” and “essential government service members” to enjoy the benefits of both, and the constraints of neither. On the one hand, Police Officers want the benefit of being treated like front-line U.S. Army service members are treated by being given broad powers & absolute immunity, but without the Army’s federalization of service people that doesn’t permit unionization of service people. The federal government don’t allow federal workers to form Unions, to eliminate the problems we’re now seeing with police officers & their police unions at County/State levels of government. On the other hand, Police Officers want the benefit of being treated like a regular “worker” to enjoy all the benefits that unionizing bring – mainly to be permitted to political lobby for their interests and make it nearly impossible to lose their jobs as cops.
Consequently, Police Officers currently enjoy the best of both worlds – being treated as essential government service members with broad powers & absolute immunity for their actions and as regular worker class citizens to form unions to expand their base & power.
Hence, to win at de-funding the police, we must ABOLISH Police Officers being allowed to form POLICE UNIONS. If not, the many problems were facing with Police Departments across America will persist and grow.
From the Belly of the Beast, at Prison Radio, I am Shakaboona.