Trading Cops for Social Workers Isn’t the Solution to Police Violence

The U.S. today appears to be approaching a tipping point in dismantling its historical oppression of Black people — specifically, the overt and racialized state-sanctioned violence perpetuated by carceral systems including the police. Decades of abolitionist and Black liberation movement efforts have brought us to this moment in which defunding police departments is not only […]

How I Became a Police Abolitionist

We called 911 for almost everything except snitching. Nosebleeds, gunshot wounds, asthma attacks, allergic reactions. Police accompanied the paramedics. Our neighborhood made us sick. A Praxair industrial gas-storage facility was at one end of my block. A junkyard with exposed military airplane and helicopter parts was at the other. The fish-seasoning plant in our backyard […]

A Fresh Framework – The Feminism of the Abolition Movement

While weeks of protest sparked by racist police killings continue to rock all 50 states, police violence in the United States has come under international criticism. The incessant murder of Black and Indigenous people by so-called “public servants” has forced a conversation about whether the police force is a necessary service at all, and conversations about prison […]

How to Defund the Police

On June 11th, near twilight, Camara Jackson was in Marcus Garvey Village, a sprawling low-income housing complex in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Brownsville, checking in with residents and handing out hand sanitizer, masks, and gloves. Jackson is the executive director of Elite Learners, a community anti-violence organization that tries to mediate conflict on the street […]

Abolition or Bust: Liberal Police Reform as an Engine of Carceral Violence

The police murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Tony McDade, and the subsequent uprisings against racist police brutality in Minneapolis and cities across the nation, have suddenly thrust calls for police abolition into the mainstream. Although the movement to abolish police and prisons has a long history, until recently it has remained largely on the […]

Can’t Imagine a World Without Police? Start Here

Wondering if killer cops should be locked up? Hearing terms like ‘community accountability’ and ‘restorative justice’ but confused about what they mean? Here’s a primer on the police abolitionist vision of the future. Derek Chauvin has been charged with second-degree manslaughter and second-degree murder for the killing of George Floyd, but further calls for justice, […]

Political Possibilities Black Feminism Offers a Path to Abolition

The recent police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Tony McDade have sparked outrage across the United States and left many wondering how we can rise to meet this political moment. Police, however, aren’t the sole perpetrators of violence against Black people: Nina Pop, a Black trans woman, was fatally stabbed outside her Sikeston, Missouri, apartment on May 3, […]

8 to Abolition Is Advocating to Abolish Police to Keep Us All Safe

In the midst of a pandemic and mass uprisings in defense of Black lives, we have an opportunity to drastically transform the way we live, work, and relate to one another. This moment has created a break in life as we knew it, and in this opening, we offer the 8 to Abolition platform. There is no single blueprint for […]

What About the Rapists and Murderers?

Trigger warning: rape, sexual assault, murder, torture, ablelism, trauma. The most common question posed to abolitionists is “what about the rapists and murderers?” Most people are not satisfied with the answer they receive. This article is an attempt to break this question down further from my perspective as an abolitionist. For transparency, I have been […]

If We Abolish Police, What Happens to Rapists?

In this op-ed, Cassandra Mensah explains what happens to rapists and abusers if we abolish police. The Movement for Black Lives’ call to defund the police is reaching more people than ever before. In an unprecedented move, Minneapolis city council announced its commitment on June 7, 2020 to disband its police force and invest in community-led safety models. While […]