I feel it is necessary to address the recent Signal editorial, “Our View: Defund Police? Pure Insanity,” published on June 13. While the editorial board did speak of its supports toward reforming the police and rooting out racist cops, I believe the article failed to address the details of the defund the police movement before condemning it.
Social movements and protests are meant to spark conversation and encourage action, not define appropriate legislative language. Just as we all must read beyond incendiary news headlines, we all must also look beyond chants and signs and do the research to understand what they really mean.
Defunding the police does not necessarily equate to abolishing the police. Yes, there is a movement that builds upon the call for defunding and does push for an eventual abolition, but these calls to action are nuanced. I understand that the idea of defunding the police is large and would fundamentally change the way we approach policing in our country. However, that does not mean we should refuse to explore it simply because the language behind the call for action makes us uncomfortable.
For many protesters and activists, defunding the police means the gradual reallocation of funds traditionally assigned to our law enforcement agencies and reinvesting it in other areas that help build up and protect our community before crime even occurs. It would not result in the immediate removal of our policing force nor our streets descending into lawlessness and chaos. So before condemning the defund the police movement as pure insanity, I urge members of this community to remember the meaning behind the words and do the research necessary to fully understand the implications.