These Police Reforms Fail Again And Again

LAPD in front of Staples Center
William Anderson
November 29, 2020

Police brutality is an epidemic. Every time we see it, and people talk about solutions, you hear the word “reform.” But it has a terrible track record! These are some of the reforms we know do NOT work.

Anti-bias Training

Even if police undergo anti-bias training, a 2019 survey found they essentially have no way of measuring its “success.” This can mean more funding and legitimacy for police – with no discernable result

There’s no evidence you can train away police racism – when many white supremacists choose to be police on purpose!

Diversity Hiring

Hiring more Black police officers has not made policing less brutal. In cities with very Black police forces like Atlanta and Baltimore, the issue remains. Research has shown no link between racial representation and police killings. “Diversity” seems to have little impact.

Body Cameras

Body cameras cost a LOT – but haven’t been shown to work. Cameras don’t matter much when officers can just turn them off, and have powers like “qualified immunity” which nearly guarantees they’ll get off in court. Police need less power to kill, not to simply be recorded doing so!

Community Policing

“Community policing” often means hiring more cops and more money for departments. Studies have shown, however, that it hasn’t made communities safer or Black people less likely to be killed.

Civilian Oversight 

Civilian oversight has existed for decades, with little consequence in terms of actually affecting police and their unions. It promotes the idea that the structural racism of policing can be held “accountable” without truly challenging police power. This ALSO hasn’t stopped Black deaths!

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