argument top image

What is the role of the police in America?
Back to question

The police enforce a racist agenda

In the early 1700s, emergent systems of localised American patrols and service groups were tasked with the prevention of slave revolts. An active agenda to protect the interests of white supremacy was and is prevalent, considering the lack of reform in current national police departments.

The Argument

Colonial American policing had been an informal and unregulated practice. Through the 1700s and early 1800s, policing was socially associated with gang activity and safeguarding the interests of paying parties. The first publicly organised and funded policing system was the 1838 Boston Police Department, whose primary responsibility was to manage commodity trades. [1] This was not the case in the South, where the founding of formal police services were provisions for the continuation of Black oppression and heavily pro-segregation. In Alabama and Mississippi, the primary function of marshalling was to uphold the partitions between white and African American communities, in name of racially driven legal practices such as the ruling of the Plessy vs. Ferguson case of 1896, which gave rise to the 'Jim Crow' segregation laws. [2] Waves of immigration thereafter further instigated a foundational discriminatory practice in state police forces. It was not until the Wickersham Commission of 1929 that all state police departments were under their first true internal investigation and semi-reform, though not for their inability to endorse justice and racial equality, but for their 'ineffectiveness' in being non-politically associative. [3] To this day, there has been no reform or corrective effort in the police service or American government to alter their institutional and systemic racially charged agenda.

Counter arguments



Rejecting the premises


This page was last edited on Tuesday, 6 Oct 2020 at 15:26 UTC

Explore related arguments