i'm not going to explain racist policing anymore.
7 min read

i'm not going to explain racist policing anymore.

hand written text says "abolition is the only answer" in shades of purple and blue over an image of a large femme presenting person with a tear on their face clutching at a lighter space near their heart. in relief in front of their torso we see two figures reaching skyward and several flame like images.
art by ashlukadraws on instagram

at this point, explaining that the police and criminal injustice system are racist is a bit like describing what rain is in the middle of a hurricane. people who deny it are being willfully ignorant and obtuse at this point. if they wanted to know, they would.

all of our energy is better spent focusing on what can and must happen next. it is no longer a question--policing as it is cannot continue.

this newsletter will detail policing practices that must be ended entirely as soon as humanly possible while we begin to build replacement systems that actually focus on public safety.

cw: black death & police violence are mentioned (not in detail) throughout this newsletter.

we have never needed cops to perform pretext traffic stops. traffic responses should not be handled by armed militia members.

"Wright was stopped on what is called a “pretext traffic stop” — officers believed he had violated traffic laws, which legally allowed them to pull him over. After Wright gave the police his information, they found a warrant for his arrest: a non-court appearance that most likely was connected to an unpaid $346 in court fines and fees related to a cannabis and disorderly conduct conviction. As the police began to take him into custody, Wright became scared and re-entered his car. Police camera footage shows an officer indicating she was going to use her Taser gun, but instead she fatally shot him with her handgun."
Yet police officers and organizations say pretext stops are a “valuable tool” to promote driver safety or to find drugs and other illegal activities. Car accidents are a serious and deadly problem, killing thousands of Americans every year. But recent studies have questioned just how much pretext traffic stops actually encourage safe driving or prevent accidents. A study last year looked at the city of Fayetteville, North Carolina, which re-prioritized traffic stops away from economic reasons like expired plates or registration, or investigatory reasons (when police use a traffic stop to gather evidence for a larger investigation), and toward safety reasons, like stopping drivers who were speeding or running a red light. They found that traffic injuries and fatalities were reduced, while non-traffic crimes stayed the same or were reduced, suggesting that non-safety related traffic stops do little to prevent accidents or other crimes."
Daunte Wright and the grim financial incentive behind traffic stops
How pretext traffic stops fund police departments — and put Black drivers in danger.

policing can no longer be a money-making scheme. quotas and other incentives tied to revenue generation must end immediately.

"In its investigation of the Ferguson Police Department following the shooting of Michael Brown, the U.S. Department of Justice cited the city’s focus on generating revenue through law enforcement as a major problem. The report noted that, in March 2010, the City Finance Director wrote to the Chief of Police warning him that unless they ramped up ticket writing “significantly,” there would be a budget shortfall. In just one year, Ferguson’s court issued over 9,000 warrants stemming from minor violations such as parking infractions, traffic tickets, and housing code violations.
What’s worse, that cash and property often flows right back to the very police and prosecutors who took it in the first place giving them a direct financial incentive to take as much property as possible, again, especially from those least financially able to defend their rights. This leads to the “policing for profit” that the Institute for Justice has successfully fought against for many years across the nation."
Policing Should Not Be About Generating Profit
In recent decades, policing has become increasingly about profit rather than public safety. To rebuild trust among the communities they patrol, officers and prosecutors must stop treating citizens like ATMs.

police unions are not about labor rights and never have been. qualified immunity must end.

this story in particular left me enraged for days. the "thin blue line" and "protect and serve" rhetoric of policing cannot be reformed. this level of brazen god-complex, lack of remorse, and fearlessness should never be armed.

She served as the police union's president in 2019, had been on the department's negotiation team and worked as field training officer, the Tribune reported.
A county attorney's report states this was not Potter's first time dealing with the aftermath of a police officer shooting someone. In 2019, police fatally shot a man who was threatening his grandfather with a knife and hammer. The use of deadly force by police in that incident was ruled lawful, the report states.
In accordance with Brooklyn Center Police Department policies, Potter -- who not present at the time of the shooting -- gave instructions to the two officers involved in the shooting to get into different police cars, turn off their body cameras and not speak to each other.
Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott told CNN on Tuesday that Potter submitted a letter of resignation. In a letter to Elliott, acting City Manager Reggie Edwards and then Gannon, Potter wrote that she "loved every minute of being a police officer and serving this community to the best of my ability."
Earl Gray, a St. Paul-based attorney, told CNN he is representing Potter.Gray is also the attorney for Thomas Lane, one of the four officers involved in Floyd's death who faces criminal charges. He was also a defense attorney for Jeronimo Yanez, the former St. Anthony, Minnesota, police officer who was found not guilty of second-degree manslaughter for the fatal shooting of Castile.
Here’s what we know about Kim Potter, the officer who fatally shot Daunte Wright
Officer Kim Potter submitted her resignation after the fatal shooting.

police officers should never be called to situations involving disabled people. their intense lack of empathy is often deadly for us.

"The incident began when Garner was accused of stealing $13.88 worth of items from a Walmart. Schielke said her client has dementia and sensory aphasia, which impairs her ability to verbally communicate with people or understand others' communications."
"'A little bloody. A little muddy. That's how it works,' Jalali says. Hopp tells the sergeant the blood is Garner's."
Police accused of injuring elderly woman with dementia during arrest
Newly released Loveland Police body camera video shows an alleged incident of excessive force involving a 73-year-old woman with dementia that left her injured. KUSA’s Liz Kotalik reports.

truly, it is not possible to be anti-racist without advocating for defunding the police.

i am not speaking in hyperbole when i say abolition is the only way forward. everything else we could do will keep us right where we are.


these actions are new orleans based because NOLA is my home and where i do most of my organizing. these fights are happening nationwide. if you don't live in new orleans, i would love to hear about how you're supporting the work where you are.

decriminalize sex work

join WWAV and their coalition to make sure sex workers can live and work without fear of police violence and incarceration.

Deep South Decrim

end cash bail

join OPPRC and other New Orleans organizations in the fight to end cash bail which often keeps people incarcerated despite the fact that they have not been convicted of any crime.

End Money Bail — OPPRC
<p>The mission of Orleans Parish Prison Reform Coalition is to use education and organizing to decrease incarceration, increase oversight, and improve the conditions in Orleans Parish Prison, emphasizing a community centered approach to justice, in order to foster a whole and liberated New Orleans.<…

decriminalize marijuana

call your louisiana congress people and tell them you support House Bill 243

New Orleans council president files resolution to decriminalize marijuana
Council President Helena Moreno filed a resolution with five coauthors in support of efforts in the state legislature to decriminalize the possession and use of marijuana in Louisiana.

as always, i hope this is useful

if it was and you've got five bucks a month to spare, click here.

with hope,

katie wills evans