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Special Project

Power over Policing

Police abolition has entered the public consciousness with full force and considerable support.

Alongside select archival essays, this special project features lawyers, activists, historians and more responding to the demands of the 2020 uprisings. They not only boldly imagine an abolitionist future without police and prisons, but outline the steps needed to get us there.

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Atiya Husain

At a moment when the call to abolish police and prisons is louder than ever, we should also demand an end to counterterrorism, which functions largely to ensnare people of color.

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Dan Berger

Jalil Muntaqim, a Black Panther imprisoned since 1971, is one of thousands of elderly prisoners the United States has refused to free during the pandemic.

Garrett Felber Bayard Bustin police abolition
Garrett Felber

Prison and police abolition were key to the thinking of many midcentury civil rights activists. Understanding why can help us ask for change in our own time.

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Gili Kliger

Police brutality is not isolated and exceptional. As Chicago’s decades-long history of police torture illustrates, it is built into the systemic nature of racial violence.

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Jocelyn Simonson

Reform efforts will fail. Only a power shift to communities can improve public safety.

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Scholars for Social Justice

These protests are too widespread to go away. There will be no peace without justice on multiple fronts.

Derecka Purnell

Abolition is not about transforming the police, it is about transforming the nation.

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Tracey L. Meares

Policing as we know it must be abolished before it can be transformed.

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Daniel Geary

Bad police were not simply a symptom of racism. They were often its agents.

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