Officers Who Are Not White May Be The First To Be Cut

Seattle Police shield on uniform
William Anderson
July 22, 2020

Police forces are worried because people are organizing to hit them where it hurts: their wallets. Calls to defund the police, and reallocate funding to underfunded areas like housing, education, and healthcare, have been met with some particularly wild - and racist - responses.

In Seattle, the police department has responded with an ultimatum: if they have to let officers go, they’ll essentially fire Black, Indigenous, and other officers of color first! There’s a deeper message in this veiled threat to Black officers.

Black cops are not treated as equals on the force. Whether it’s Black officers being beaten by colleagues or Black associates of the police being attacked, Black people, even Black cops, are always seen as a threat. 

Black officers’ feelings reinforce this message.

Although Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best is a Black woman, research shows that Black officers have their doubts about policing and discipline. Laying off Black officers first is another example of racism in policing. What does this mean for funding?

As departments around the country make threats, ultimatums, and pleas to not receive cuts, we need to remember that police have long had MORE than enough money. 

Police budgets are enormous, and that money has gone to forces that kill us for far too long! We can’t let their threats stop this movement.

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