Attorney General William Barr created quite a controversy with his comments about community support for police departments. “And they have to start showing, more than they do, the respect and support that law enforcement deserves. And if communities don’t give that support and respect, they might find themselves without the police protection they need.” His words were condemned but unfortunately most of his critics were angry for the wrong reasons.
There is little benefit to the public in the way law enforcement officers work in this country. They rarely protect the public from violence. Most of their activity consists of finding any and every reason to put black people behind bars. The police are the 21st century slave patrol, giving comfort to white Americans who want to keep black people under physical control. We would be fortunate indeed if we were to lose police “protection.” The carceral state is a huge money making industry, with police and others in the field earning higher salaries than they would otherwise and a prison system that finds myriad ways to make profits off of black and brown bodies.