I agree that police are way too paramilitary nowadays with all the "war on drugs" and tons of war surplus inventory for the past decades, but it's not as if every cop has a MP5 on his back in full decked out level 3 body armor kit. Most cops don't do that. It's the SWAT teams (that everybody strives to get in) that are decked out that way. If that's the elite police, is it any wonder that's what cops are striving toward?
We need to measure cops not just by their arrest record or traffic ticket written, but how much rapport s/he had built with the community. I agree that police REFORM is needed, but DEFUND police is NOT the answer. What that REALLY does is force out the folks who don't "measure up" in arrest stats in the reviews, even though they may have better community support, forcing them into retirement, and keeping the more hardcore cops with better arrest records (and probably less cooperation from the community). In other words, I believe "defund" police will have the opposite effect it was intended to create: a kinder gentler police department. It forces police unions to become more hardcore to justify its headcount and its budget putting even MORE pressure on the community, not less. It will simply be "smarter" in its application of force, but that doesn't fix the fundamental problem.
Yes, it's a cultural problem, but the past few decades of police policy have CREATED this problem. The "broken windows" premise, aka "quality of life" premise is contributing to the problem. Cops are trained from the start to suspect the worst (like terrorists or gangbangers rushing out and fill him full of bullets) at every traffic stop. Yet they are also trained to pick out the slightest detail (minor offenses) to enforce and hopefully find bigger ones as per broken windows premise. I can't find the podcast, I thought it was Malcom McDowell's Revisionist history, where he dug into the story of several police shootings or deaths, such as why did the cops pull over Sandra Bland, leading to her suicide in jail. Basically cops are trained to be suspicious toward everyone except maybe a fellow cop. and somehow the Sandra Bland encounter just went south in a heartbeat.
I believe police commissions need to get some sort of "community sentiment" measure in place as a part of cop's performance eval. After all, the community being policed had to have a say on how the policing is done, right? Just a couple members on the commission is not enough.
In other words, police needs new policy and new training, not sensitivity stuff, but FUNDAMENTAL changes to how policing is done. And losing funding does NOT help that AT ALL.
Let's face it, how does "Ford please stop making police cars" help the situation?
Or "Philz Coffee please stop law enforcement discounts"?
It doesn't. Police reform is a real issue. DEFUND POLICE is a slogan that took a wrong turn.