Evidently, after the uprisings in 2020 against police violence, people still think the reason there’s more property crimes is because they’re not in jail (“Clark County law enforcement officials discuss rising property crime at town hall,” The Columbian Jan. 14). And it’s also appalling that the police are using a new law designed to curb police brutality as an excuse for rising property crimes.
Policing in America has always been dysfunctional, given its roots in suppressing slave or Indigenous people’s uprisings, suppressing labor movements and the like. The ethos of policing in America is actually a mirror image of a property criminal: To get what one wants, it’s OK to hurt and intimidate someone. The end justifies the means.
There are actually ways that have been proven to structure communities and societies that aren’t predicated on fear and intimidation. And frankly, that includes the premise that people’s lives are more valuable than property. Maybe that approach would cut down on both property crimes and police violence.