After a Minneapolis police officer killed George Floyd in May 2020, numerous calls for reforms within our criminal justice system have been brought to public discourse. One measure that has gained traction in some localities involves defunding the police. As Americans prepare to head to the polls in November, this will be an issue on many of their minds.
Those who support localities defunding the police argue that the American criminal justice system is systemically racist against African Americans. This side contends that money should be diverted from the police and go towards social programs that will benefit communities like education, food, and health initiatives. This side may also argue that the police are expected to do too much in society and that expanding other programs will help reduce the burden on officers.
Those who oppose localities defunding the police argue that defunding the police will threaten law and order in communities. This side contends that the police are generally a force for good, and that weakening departmental budgets will especially hurt poor minorities living in crime-ridden areas. This side may also argue that there is not a systemic problem with the police, but rather there are bad individuals within law enforcement.
So, what do you think? Should localities defund the police? Students can answer Yes, they should; No, they should not; or a nuanced answer in-between.
Note: Ideal Think the Vote responses include the following:
-Address the question asked in a thoughtful and meaningful manner
-Use cited facts and constitutional arguments when appropriate to support their answers
-Are expressed in cohesive sentences and are free of distracting spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors
-They address counter-arguments and opposing concerns in a respectful manner
-They organize their answer in a manner that flows logically and reads clearly