For those of you who could not make it to our May Meetup, we will continue the conversation about American policing and the penal system at our June Meetup.
With the epidemic of incidents of police violence and systemic racial bias within American courts, the legitimacy of our criminal justice institutions is at stake. Some questions to consider before our Meetup:
• Is America a police state? Has it always been? How does that square with the U.S.'s image around the world as a promoter of human rights?
• Does it seem like incidents of police brutality have gotten worse since President Obama's election, or are we just hearing and seeing more evidence of these incidents because of social media and the omnipresent use of cell phone cameras?
• Are the continuing images of people being beaten and killed from state violence helping to advance reform, or are these images desensitizing the public at large? In particular for Black people, are these images played over and over again too traumatizing, or are the publicity of these images a necessary burden in furtherance of a greater cause?
• Are we at a tipping point?
• What would police reform look like? What would institutional reform of America's (in)justice system look like? Is the problem with training, hiring or both? What is your opinion on police body cameras? Would more diverse law enforcement help? The U.S. has about 18,000 police agencies, each with their own standards. Should all these agencies be consolidated and centralized? Is that even possible? Should the police be abolished? Should prisons be abolished? If so, what would be the alternatives?
• Why does the United States cling to the death penalty, when the global trend is to abolish it? California hasn't had an execution in nearly 10 years. Is the death penalty doomed here?
Join our Meetup at this link to get syllabus and find out location information: