The assumption by many is that these demands were only coming from within black communities, where many of the BLM protests occur. The truth is that many community leaders and locals from these do not want this at all. Many locals feel the only thing keeping their communities safe during these times is the police.
Three days after his 29-year-old son was shot and killed, Keith Harris joined a group of residents who clashed with protesters during a demonstration outside the Chicago Police Department's Seventh District station in the Englewood neighborhood.
The turbulent confrontation last week pitted demonstrators seeking to defund the police against crime-weary residents who say they want the department to better serve them. "I don't see how defunding the police is going to help anything in Englewood," said Mr. Harris, 53 years old.
A day later, Mr. Harris made funeral arrangements for his son, Keith Richmond. "I'm the last person who would be a police cheerleader, because I've had my own run-ins with them," he said. But, he added, "What are you going to do when they're not there to protect you?"
Many of these anti-police protesters come from privileged backgrounds themselves, where thankfully they never had to deal with the police. This also means that they never experienced situations in which policing was desperately needed.
The Englewood neighborhood on Chicago's South Side is the kind of community that activists say they are fighting to help -- a poverty-stricken, mostly Black area with endemic crime. There have been 200 shootings this year in Englewood, an 80% increase over the same period in 2019.
Yet an increasingly vocal number of business owners, community leaders and residents say they are tiring of calls to defund police departments, viewing protesters largely as outsiders unwilling to do the hands-on work, they say is required to improve Black communities.
Shootings and crime do not have a solution yet except for the police and people of authority. These protesters are not offering any option that is feasible to lower crime rates in inner city areas, instead they are bringing more crime in with their protests and riots.
Black leaders in other cities have pushed back against activist demands to shrink or abolish police departments. In New York and New Jersey, some Black and Latino lawmakers recently urged their colleagues to hold off on proposals to slash police budgets.
Maybe when these ‘defund police’ activists grow up a bit, they will realize that they are the ones with ‘privilege’ like the BLM like to say. Policing is a basic element of a democratic society, defunding it will mean a slippery slope towards pure anarchy.