“Crime wave” and Policing

What is the social contract when it comes to police brutality OR when it comes to police not intervening in times of crime surges?  What is the decent thing to do in these situations?  (Connect to crime waves driving businesses out of cities in the bay area as well as last week’s topic of systemic racism via racial inequality in the judicial system)


Many people who have not studied ethics of the law believe the purpose of the police is to protect the people while upholding the law and arresting people who violate the law. In fact, the supreme court found in DeShaney v. Winnebago County Department of Social Services that it’s just the opposite; the police have no legal duty or obligation to protect anyone or to enforce the law. Study after study shows the police investigate about one percent of all crime, and solve about one percent of what they actually investigate. If we assume the purpose of the police is to solve crime and enforce the law, it would be hard to imagine any way they could be worse at their job than they are. If instead we acknowledge that the only purpose of the police has always been to punish deviance from the most dominant and privileged demographic groups in society, then everything about them makes perfect sense, which is why this argument has been made by moral philosophers for centuries. Anyone who has read the thirteenth amendment can tell you slavery was never abolished in the United States, this amendment merely moved slavery from being explicitly to implicitly an institution for enslaving black people; because almost everyone in our current slave pool is still black or brown today. The first police departments were created to catch runaway slaves, and they still exist today to profit from the same system that created them, through prison slavery as outlined in the thirteenth amendment. The only moral thing to do is abolish this evil institution, and return to the more just and effective alternative of volunteer community policing, which is why there has been such widespread consensus on this topic from civil rights activists and moral philosophers (Including Adam Smith) since the first days of the American slave empire.

On the second point of “crime waves driving business out of cities in the bay area,” study after study has confirmed the facts from the DOJ and FBI that both violent crime and property crime are near their lowest point in over a century both across the bay and across the country, and these conspiracy theories about a crime wave are just a pretext for not admitting to the fact that the many forecasts for tens thousands of retail closures this year are simply coming true as expected. These companies have every incentive to continue pretending everything is fine in terms of their core business, while blaming their store closures on the conspiracy theory of a crime wave. Too many people are eager to parrot these lies in defense of insanely inflated stock prices, at the cost of the people we talked about in the first paragraph.