Police

3 Libertarian Tips for the #DefundPolice Movement

Reducing law enforcement requires more than merely cutting and shifting a budget.

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Police departments are usually the biggest expense for an American municipal government. For the past week Americans have been getting a blunt demonstration of where that money has been going. Cops are beating up and tear-gassing peaceful protesters while actual looters run rampant. This is what we're paying for?

Unsurprisingly, such police behavior has drawn attention to the movement to dramatically reduce the money cities spend on police departments.

This week, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that the city would cut up to $150 million from the LAPD's general funds budget and redirect that money elsewhere. If that actually happens, it could reverse a trend of annual growth in police spending. Los Angeles currently spends $1.8 billion on law enforcement out of its total $10.5 billion total budget—and that doesn't include pensions and health care.

It may be tempting to see the Defund Police movement as a bit naïve. The L.A. "People's Budget," based on interviews with more than 1,000 Angelenos, suggests cutting law enforcement spending to less than 6 percent of the city's general spending—instead of the current 54 percent—and redirecting that money to a host of social projects and housing programs. The dramatic disparity may partly reflect the fact that many of the groups involved with the survey hope to receive some of the redirected spending. Whatever they want to do with police budgets, the agenda here clearly isn't about limiting the rest of the government.

But whether or not we agree about that part of the agenda, reducing the size and scope of police departments is a goal libertarians certainly support. Here are three things the #DefundPolice movement should take into consideration as it pushes for smaller police budgets:

1. If you don't account for revenue from fines, fees, and forfeiture, this can all backfire against the poor. 

A city's general fund isn't always the sole source of a police department's funding. In Los Angeles, the general fund accounts for about $6 billion of the city's $10.5 billion budget. In any number of police departments across the country, their budgets are bolstered by money from fees and fines paid when somebody is arrested for a crime. Many police departments also are able to keep some (or even all) of the money or property they seize from people they arrest.

Thanks to the civil asset forfeiture process, police are often able to keep people's money, homes, and vehicles through complicated court proceedings simply by accusing the owners of having earned the money or purchased the property through illegal means—without having to actually get a court conviction.

There have been some recent reforms to forfeiture, in part because during our last recession, when revenue collection in cities went down, many police dramatically increased the use of asset forfeiture to maintain their budgets. They weren't taking money from rich people or leaders of drug cartels. The targets of asset forfeiture are frequently low-income minorities and immigrants who lack the resources to fight back.

California adopted state-level changes in 2016 that make it harder for cops to keep people's assets without a criminal conviction. But in many states, reform is still sorely needed. Just last month, an effort to change asset forfeiture rules in Arizona was killed by Democratic lawmakers—precisely because the change would deprive police departments of revenue.

In addition, some cities are overly dependent on fines and fees, turning the local cops into an especially nasty sort of tax collector. In the wake of the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, black residents in several St. Louis-area communities railed against these small regimes of petty fines for extremely minor crimes and the harsh code enforcement systems that tried to extract homeowners' money over tiny violations.

The Institute for Justice investigated and documented the harshness of these systems in Missouri and some other states, noting that some communities depend on fees and fines for as much as 30 percent of their budgets.

If this is how your community is paying for police and services, you can't simply redirect your policing budget. Presumably, cutting back on police will reduce the number of fees and fines being extracted from citizens. That would be good! But that means the local government will have less money, and if it isn't willing to do without this money, the police will be pressured to find more reasons to cite and fine citizens for minor crimes. And guess what? Mark Zuckerberg is not going to be paying them.

2. Police employee pension commitments are crushing your budgets.

While it's tempting to see these militarized police forces and think we're spending too much of our tax money on riot gear, pepper spray, and armored vehicles, the reality is that this money is just a small part of the department's budget. LAPD Chief Michael Moore noted after the announcement of budget cuts that 96 to 97 percent of that budget is police salaries and "other payroll costs."

Among those "other payroll costs" across the country are billions upon billions of pension debt payments for city employees. And because police represent cities' largest expense, that means police officers represent a huge chunk of that pension debt. That cannot simply be "defunded"; it must be accounted for somehow.

L.A. spends about $1.2 billion annually—13 percent of its budget—on pension payments. And California's constitution actually prohibits scaling back public employee benefits. Los Angeles cannot just cut wages and pensions. It will have to eliminate positions or do a hiring freeze.

Many cities have done a terrible job of managing pension debts, which are guaranteed to government employees when they retire. If the market doesn't perform well to cover the guaranteed payments, the government (and the taxpayers) are on the hook for these costs.

These pension costs have ballooned over the years, because some cities have not put in enough money to cover the debts or prepared for losses if the economy turns poor. Detroit in Michigan and Stockton and San Bernardino in California and went bankrupt during our last recession in part because they could not keep up with pension costs.

As those pension costs go up, cities have had to cut all those other services that these people would prefer to than police. And yet there's still a tremendous amount of resistance to shifting public employees to a defined contribution system where cities pay money up front into retirement systems, a mechanism that can be adjusted based on the state of a city's finances and doesn't leave taxpayers with massive costly lifetime burdens for retired city employees.

Law enforcement pensions have contributed significantly to the amount of money cities are forced to commit out of their budgets. This has taken increasingly large bites out of what other services a city is able to offer its citizens. Any discussion of defunding the police needs to address this massive debt bomb that is draining city coffers dry.

3. What laws, regulations, and taxes are you willing to give up? 

When I saw #DefundPolice trending on Twitter, I confess that I snorted, "We can't even get marijuana fully legalized across the country and people are talking about defunding the police?"

This wasn't entirely fair of me. One thing libertarians have in common with many urban leftists is a desire to eliminate laws that criminalize what people consensually consume or otherwise do with their bodies. But while we should legalize drugs, prostitution, and other vices, that isn't all that serious police reform requires. Eric Garner died at the hands of the New York cops in part due to suspicions he was holding and selling "loosies"—black market loose cigarettes. And that city's black market for cigarettes exists entirely due to the city's high taxes and government-mandated price floor.

Similarly, California still has a massive marijuana black market despite legalizing the recreational use and sale of weed. That's because cities and the state have piled on so many taxes that it's just cheaper not to go legit. The reasons the government is policing people have changed ("Drugs are bad!" becomes "You're not licensed!"), but the people being targeted really haven't. The people most likely to fined or arrested by police are those who can't afford the cost that cities are demanding of them.

The police are being used to enforce a host of regulations that have fundamentally criminalized a lot of poorer people's economic activities, entirely because the government isn't getting a cut of the money. It's all framed as a public health and safety issue. Who knows where those street vendor hot dogs have been unless the sellers obey expensive mandates and pay for the licenses that prove they're following the rules? What horrible things might happen to your fingernails if you don't go to a nail salon with licensed technicians?

All of these systems serve as revenue for city government and are enforced by the police. Scaling back and eliminating many of these regulations and taxes would make life and economic participation a whole lot easier and safer for poorer citizens.

But that only works if cities are willing to give up that money. Will this movement to defund the police grasp the role that policing plays in city revenue? Improving our freedoms means cutting back not just on the police baton, but on the red tape.

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  1. Shackford comes to Reason after nearly a decade of serving in various editing positions for Freedom Communications, a libertarian-leaning media chain that may or may not still exist depending on when this profile is being read.

    Said hyperlink now redirects to website of a sketchy-looking mortgage company. C’est la vie.

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  2. One thing libertarians have in common with many urban leftists is a desire to eliminate laws that criminalize what people consensually consume or otherwise do with their bodies.

    I’ll have to take your word for it. My experience is that they tend to be central planning enthusiasts who may or may not realize that a strong enforcement arm is needed for those mandates to work (not that they ever actually do) and that having plenty of excuses for police to interact with the public is key.

    1. And this is obviously why those urban leftists are all for the legalization of heroin along with pot, right? Because notably those urban leftists probably smoke pot, but since they don’t do heroin it must be icky and banned.

      There’s some overlap on that venn, but only when it directly involves things the urban leftist personally enjoys. Really, that’s just human behavior in a nutshell.

      1. *Ahem*
        Smoking cigarettes…

        1. And God Forbid you want a plastic straw so you don’t have to put your lips on a glass that other people might have drank from.

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          2. The banning of plastic straws is so dumb it defies reason. Cut down on plastics in packaging which are not (very) recyclable that was a plastics lobby ploy, sure but straws give me a break.

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      2. Remember when the hippies were into heroin? A lot of people if you told them about that now wouldn’t believe you.

        1. Wasn’t it just John Lennon?

    2. Are you ready for the Mike Bloomberg libertarian moment?

    3. on Saturday I got a gorgeous Ariel Atom after earning $6292 this – four weeks past, after lot of struggels Google, Yahoo, Facebook proffessionals have been revealed the way and cope with gape for increase home income in suffcient free time.You can make $9o an hour working from home easily……. VIST THIS SITE RIGHT HERE
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    4. I agree. Leftists, who are almost always urban, I haven’t yet met any other kind, want more laws, not fewer laws. The two things that they want to regulate to the extreme are “income inequality” the “hate speech”. I have problems with regulating both.

  3. Prediction: Sometime in the next few months/years after defunding, the narrative becomes ‘Police are racist for ignoring black communities’.

    Not that it’s a hard prediction, I’ve watched it vacillate between those two positions for at least 30 years.

    1. It’s almost like they don’t want anything solved at all

    2. Weve seen these arguments cycle as you describe for 30 years. In the 80s it was urban centers yelling racism for cops ignoring the crack and heroin addictions.

    3. >The Libertarian Case for Detroit
      >The Libertarian Case for Baltimore
      >The Libertarian Case for Barter Town

      1. Pig shit.

    4. Well, there is plenty to cut. Armored vehicles, stingray devices and grenade launchers among other things. NYPD is as militarized as it gets. It could kick some smaller army’s a**.

      1. As the article points out, cutting all those military accessories would be a very good thing but it would still be basically rounding error for the police department’s overall budget. So even though armored vehicles are egregiously unnecessary, they will get kept because it only takes a tiny bit of political pull to support such a small part of the budget. Meanwhile, the actual “defunding” will get derailed over discussions of pensions and “promises”.

      2. It could kick some smaller army’s a**.

        Not yet tested against an organized unit returning fire (Koresh RIP did a credible job against the ATF’s finest.)

  4. “3 Libertarian Tips for the #DefundPolice Movement”

    “Scott Shackford”

    pass

    1. We were ALL breathlessly waiting to hear whether or not THE Mighty Tulpa approved of reading the writings of “Scott Shackford”! “Pass”, you say? Are we, the lesser mortals, allowed to enjoy the writings of said Scott S., without being snot upon, by the intellectually superior uber-troll, Tulpa? Will you think less of us, for enjoying his writings? PERISH the thought!!! WHAT can we do to make it UP to you, oh Great Uber-Troll?

      PS, I am in favor of free speech… And you?

      PPS, if you “pass”, you could at least stoop so low as to tell us mere mortals WHY it is that you pass! Or do you just enjoy passing gas all over otherwise useful web sites?! Don’t bother answering, because all the regular readers here already KNOW that you’re just a useless gas-passer, farting uselessly all over everything!

      1. You’re not in favor of free speech. You want everyone who doesnt worship every word written here to leave the site. You happily clap along to corporations censoring viewpoints you dont like.

        Why are you lying?

      2. JesseSPAZI, Luster after Der TrumpfenFuhrer’s Eternal Reign:

        I have never called the cops on worthless trolls here who say nothing but stupid empty insults. I do not favor the use of force to shut them up, as YOU do, with your incessant calls for Section 230 protections (against stupid lawyers and the Government Almighty that backs them up) to be torn down, so that Facebook and Twitter (which YOU did NOT build, which do NOT belong to YOU) should be FORCED to publish YOUR fascist views! YOU are the thought police; I am not! I merely use my free speech to ASK useless trolls to LEAVE this web site! And no, the web site does NOT belong to me… And I (unlike YOU, fascist asshole!) appreciate the fact that Section 230 protects my free speech at Reason.com! Yes, it WOULD be nice for fascist trolls like YOU to leave, as well! There! I used my free speech! I did NOT call the cops on you, fascist thought controller-troller!

        Speaking of LYING, luster after thought control! Here you go!

        Readers, beware! Do not be deceived by JesseAZ! JesseAZ does NOT believe that LIES are bad in ANY way! Only ACTIONS matter, ethically or morally! See https://reason.com/2020/01/01/trumps-inartful-dodges/#comment-8068480
        “Words are words dumbfuck. Actions are where morals and ethics lie.”, says JesseAZ. When confronted with offers of hush money, illegal commands (from a commanding military officer), offers of murder for hire, libel, slander, lies in court, yelling “fire” in a crowded theater, inciting riots, fighting words, forged signatures, threatening to kill elected officials, false representations concerning products or services for sale… these are all “merely” cases of “using words”. Just like the Evil One (AKA “Father of Lies”), Jesse says lies are all A-OK and utterly harmless! So do NOT believe ANYTHING that you hear from JesseAZ!

        Also according to the same source, JesseAZ is TOTALLY on board with dictatorship (presumably so long as it is an “R” dictator that we are talking of).
        With reference to Trump, JesseAZ says…
        “He is not constitutionally bound on any actions he performed.”

        I say again, this is important…
        “He is not constitutionally bound on any actions he performed.”
        We need a BRILLIANTLY persuasive new movie from JesseAZ to “Wake Up, America!”, to flesh out the concept that “The Triumph of The Will of The Trump, Trumps All”! Including the USA Constitution. In fact, USA military personnel should start swearing allegiance to Trump, NOT to some stupid, moldering old piece of paper!
        Previous Powerful People have blazed a path for us to follow here, slackers!!!

      3. All readers please notice… JesseSPAZI is… DEFENDING TULPA!!! The very most useless and parasitical, empty-headed waste of life EVER known to “grace” these comment pages! Is Tulpa! And JesseSPAZI wants to cozy up to Tulpa, in hopes of who-knows-what unseemly activities (I don’t want to even think about it), but obviously including political mutual back-slapping! Principals, not principles! Even if my ally is the Evil One itself… As long as the Evil One advances MY short-termed, selfish and power-hungry, ego-inflating goals… I am ALL on board! So says JesseSPAZI!

      4. And I’m waiting for your impending suicide.

        1. Wow, what impressive works of the intellect you come up with, Shitsy Shitler! How many hours did it take for you to compose such awesome and witty prose?

  5. “2. Police employee pension commitments are crushing your budgets.”

    Police pay, benefits, and special protections and privileges, indirectly, contribute to their systemically abusive culture. This is not exclusive to police; while the rude DMV clerks will ruin your day, abusive police will murder you.

    Reducing extravagant government employee pay, benefits, and special protections, and privileges is vital both fiscally and culturally Americans were meant to be citizens not serfs.

    1. I want my police officers to be the same type of people that take minimum wage jobs.

      1. They already are. Police academies don’t want you if your IQ is too high because you might get bored on the job. True story.

        In other words, your typical employee at Home Depot who can prove they can run a certain distance. That’s basically the requirement starting off. They couldn’t give two fucks about your education beyond high school. Where else does that equal a high salary or pension?

        Obviously, the later you get into your career the less ‘being able to run fast’ seems to matter given the quality of police I’ve been pulled over by.

      2. Make the same type of people that take minimum wage jobs the type you would choose by defunding public education.

    2. End all state pension programs.

  6. For the past week Americans have been getting a blunt demonstration of where that money has been going. Cops are beating up and tear-gassing peaceful protesters while actual looters run rampant. This is what we’re paying for?

    It would appear so. On the other hand, seeing as how the mayor/city council generally has authority over their police department, it’s also what you’re voting for. Don’t like it? Look in the mirror.

    1. Some are incapable of noticing the direct line between the laws they pass ‘for the children’ and cops busting heads.

      They have good intentions when passing those laws, so therefore the laws must be good. It must be the enforcement or something, even though that logic should make your head spin.

      This is why it can’t, and won’t, be ‘fixed’ by any reasonable measure. C.S. Lewis already covered this, we’re just watching it unfold in real time.

      Just to reiterate:

      “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be “cured” against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.”

      1. Remember, gun control was the impetus for Stop and Frisk.

  7. Well, to start with, they can hand out all those firearms to the civilians – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Maybe this will encourage Trump to reinvigorate the civilian marksmanship program, and pass out ‘real’ scary black rifles like popcorn.

  8. Let’s see how the view of police tactics changes when we get another peaceful Charlottesville protest.

  9. One thing libertarians have in common with many urban leftists is a desire to eliminate laws that criminalize what people consensually consume or otherwise do with their bodies.

    You must be paying attention to a different set of leftists than I am.

    1. Not sure what gun control has to do with the (over)regulation of food or drugs.

  10. They want to simply replace the police with an auxiliary force similar to those employed by every dictatorship for the last 100 years. They won’t bother stopping shoplifting, but will enforce political orthodoxy instead, they will protect and serve the ruling party.

    1. But one focused solely on social justice.

      1. Like the KKK
        Or SS
        Or NKVD
        Or Stasi
        Etc

        (Yes, all of those organizations were the enforcers of “social justice” as seen by their particular progressive regime)

        1. Or Der TrumpfenFuhrer, AKA the Trumptatorshit!

          https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/02/president-trump-absolute-rights/607168/
          Donald Trump’s Strange and Dangerous ‘Absolute Rights’ Idea
          This is a profound misunderstanding of the American constitutional system.

          1. Ah, yes, The Atlantic. Truly, a quotable outlet with impeccable credentials.

            The President actually does have the right to do certain things as a matter of their core job. While Trump certainly is fond of hyperbole with his use of ‘absolute right’, in many cases he’s not wrong that he actually does have the right as President, even if it’s oft unused.

            And in many other cases, he’s doing things that I absolutely disagree with but it pulls the teeth out of those arguments when the previous administration was cheered on to do many of the same things.

            Note that Democrats have done very little to actually curb the powers of the Presidency, and have instead heavily invested in simply removing the person wielding the powers. This is because they don’t disagree with how Trump does things, they just disagree with Trump.

          2. And Trump NEVER disagrees with ANYTHING that He wants to do! I have NEVER heard of Him admitting error; have you?

            Such monstrously large egos are profoundly dangerous!!! One of this days Perfect President is going to FAIL to be talked out of doing something profoundly stupid, by his smarter-than-Him staff, because His Ego knows no bounds!

            Quotes from The Donald in the “Anti Gravity” column in August 2017 “Scientific American” magazine follow:
            “I have great genes and all that stuff, which I’m a believer in”,
            “God helped me by giving me a certain brain”,
            “I have a very, very high aptitude”,
            “Maybe it’s just something you have. You know, you have the winning gene.”
            Google the quotes, they are real…

            chemjeff radical individualist
            September.17.2019 at 8:40 pm
            https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/10/04/17-issues-that-donald-trump-knows-better-than-anyone-else-according-to-donald-trump/
            Trump:
            “I know more about renewables than any human being on Earth.”
            “I understand social media. I understand the power of Twitter. I understand the power of Facebook maybe better than almost anybody, based on my results, right?”
            “Nobody knows more about debt. I’m like the king. I love debt.”
            “I understand money better than anybody.”
            “I think nobody knows the system better than I do.”
            “I know more about contributions than anybody.”
            “Nobody knows more about trade than me.”
            “Nobody knows jobs like I do! ”
            “Nobody in the history of this country has ever known so much about infrastructure as Donald Trump.”
            “There’s nobody bigger or better at the military than I am.”
            “I know more about ISIS [the Islamic State militant group] than the generals do. Believe me.”
            “There is nobody who understands the horror of nuclear more than me.”
            “Because nobody knows the system better than me. I know the H1B. I know the H2B. Nobody knows it better than me.”

            By Echospinner…
            September.17.2019 at 9:08 pm
            And don’t forget the other things he is expert in.
            Technology: I know tech better than anyone, & technology.” —December 21, 2018, Twitter
            Forest fires : There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor. Billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests. Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!” —November 10, 2018, Twitter
            Airplane design: Airplanes are becoming far too complex to fly. Pilots are no longer needed, but rather computer scientists from MIT
            You can go on an on, catapults on aircraft carriers, the Kentucky Derby…
            When it comes to geniuses the man is a regular Wyle E Coyote.

            1. You, and many others, are deranged

              1. Trump sure is deranged with a monstrously large ego, as you can see above!

                1. No larger of an ego than was possessed by the racist ex-crackhead that preceded him. Post one speech Obama made where it wasn’t all “me”, “I” or “my.” He was a malignant narcissist and, like Trump, wasn’t all that bright. The difference is what comes our of Trump’s mouth is Trump and what came out of Obama’s mouth was what he was reading from a teleprompter.

                  1. To whatever small amount what you say is true… I did read that Obama DID use “I” and “me” a lot, which is indicative of narcissism… It still reflects that Obama had more humility than Trump does! I mean, about the teleprompter thing. Obama had the decorum and self-control, such that, unlike Trump, Obama KNEW that he did NOT know everything! Not off the top of his head! Only an arrogant asshole (like Trump) would, in a position like POTUS, WING IT ALL THE TIME and bypass the teleprompter and all his expert advisors who have carefully composed policy and the words to go with the policy! Trump “winging it” SOOOOO many times, with “surprise policies”, indicates His Utter Arrogance!

                2. You’re tiresome. Kill yourself.

                  1. Hey Shitsy Shitler…
                    If EVERYONE who makes you look bad, by being smarter and better-looking than you, killed themselves, per your wishes, then there would be NO ONE left!
                    Who would feed you? Who’s tits would you suck at, to make a living? WHO would change your perpetually-smelly DIAPERS?!!?
                    You’d better come up with a better plan, Stan!

                    1. Squirrelly, I am definitely smarter than you, so it’s a proven fact that I know better than you when I say you should kill yourself. So just do it.

                      And since you’re a known shit eater, I can only assume this diaper thing you’re talking about is some sexual fantasy of yours. And I’m not into scat, or anything even tangentially related to a shit eating fagu, such as yourself.

                      Also, I am absolutely adorable. Never doubt that.

            2. “I have NEVER heard of Him admitting error; have you?”

              So, he’s like every President in history.

              1. Well, OK, it does happen from time to time… Trump admid admitted error!

                https://apnews.com/6c8a2f00107c49afbed4880ce7bddeb7/White-House-admits-error-for-false-claim-on-black-employment
                White House admits error for false claim on black employment
                By ANNE FLAHERTY
                August 15, 2018

                I wish it happened more often… Admitting error (and humility in general) are GOOD things!

                1. Now will YOU admit not killing yourself has been a mistake and correct course?

          3. What organization does Trump have, or proposes, comparable to any of the above?

            Show your work

            1. This is relevant. Trump’s military advisors may or may not be able to talk Trump out of using the military, in an unconstitutional manner, to turn Der TrumpfenFuhrer into our military dictator. The military should NOT be used to quell peaceful protests! See 1st amendment and the right to “peacefully assemble”! What next, will Trump call off the November elections, to preserve His Power? Fortunately, a LOT of people in the military aren’t going to put up with this!

              https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/05/us/politics/protests-milley-trump.html

              1. You sure spout a lot of irrational nonsense. Obama was going to call off the election as I recollect as well. And the military will not be used against peaceful protestors but they might be committed to stopping the looting and destruction.

                You are an accomplished a-hole.

                1. I support your right to say stupid things!

                  To quote Ken Shulttz here below, “If you want to marginalize xenophobes and racists, don’t make it against the law for them to say stupid shit in public.”

                2. Have you not yet noticed that the military has ALREADY BEEN used against peaceful protestors? And now, in some places, they are removing name tags and unit-affiliation-badges-etc., from uniforms, so that the jackbooted thugs can’t even be IDed in any way! We won’t be able to hold them individually accountable, or even unit-affiliation-accountable, when they skull-crack 75-year-old men! Reminds me of the Russians in Ukraine in recent years! What next, politicians hiding their IDs behind masks? Like the KKK did?

                  https://www.wusa9.com/article/news/local/dc/unmarked-police-officers-dc-riots-bureau-of-prisons-riot-squads/65-bc1c42a7-b05b-490c-9dab-eebb1b1bba20
                  Armed riot officers without identifying marks or badges began manning the perimeter around the White House Wednesday morning, and now a Virginia congressman says he is working on legislation to stop it from happening again.

          4. one of the very reasons I like Reason is the fact that TDS comments like yours are very rare.

            1. TDS comes in 2 flavors, you know… Anti-Trump TDS and pro-Trump TDS! You Trumpsucker you!

    2. I have long argued that one of the reasons we don’t have overtly xenophobic political parties in the United States, like they do in France, Germany, and elsewhere in Europe, is because we have the First Amendment. When those countries made it illegal to deny the holocaust in public, they did the xenophobic antisemites a huge favor. If Marine Le Pen’s recent successes at the ballot box wouldn’t have been possible if she hadn’t been able to get her other party members to STFU about the holocaust. If you want to marginalize xenophobes and racists, don’t make it against the law for them to say stupid shit in public. Rather, put them on camera and give them a microphone. They can’t stop themselves from saying stupid and embarrassing shit. That’s who they are, and that’s who they want to be.

      I’m here to say the same thing about some of the dumbest ideas being put forward by people today in regards to Black Lives Matter and some of their more extreme proposals for reform. People trick themselves into believing all sorts of silly things–and progressives are especially susceptible. If they really think the American people want to replace our police forces with anti-fa vigilantes, don’t discourage them from telling anyone and everyone who will listen. If Donald Trump’s and Steve Bannon stayed up all night trying to think of new and better ways to get President Trump reelected, they could hardly come up with anything better than having BLM advocate for replacing the police with politically correct vigilantes in the name of electing Joe Biden. If Joe Biden were smart, he might accuse BLM of working with the Russians to get Trump reelected–if they don’t stop saying this massively unpopular shit.

      1. “People trick themselves into believing all sorts of silly things–and progressives are especially susceptible.”

        You can’t be a progressive if you don’t believe Top Men are capable of managing… well, just about everything, right down to the tiniest detail.

        1. They’ll believe anything you say if it’s bad about President Trump.

          1. No argument there.

  11. “One thing libertarians have in common with many urban leftists is a desire to eliminate laws that criminalize what people consensually consume or otherwise do with their bodies. But while we should legalize drugs, prostitution, and other vices, that isn’t all that serious police reform requires.”

    The point remains that keeping marijuana illegal is a pretext for some of the worst abuses by the police, and African-Americans suffer for it the most. It should also be noted that the police unions that have contracts with the city to hide them from accountability in places like New York City are the same police unions that prevent marijuana from being legalized in places like New York. The fact is that Democrat machines that are running these cities are writing polices that benefit law enforcement at the expense of the communities they serve. Legalizing cannabis may not be the ultimate solution, but the reason it’s still illegal in New York City is the same reason the police are so often unaccountable.

  12. De-funding the police is a great idea.
    This way, the rich in Beverly Hills, Uptown Manhattan, Malibu, the Hamptons, etc. can create their own police forces and shoot, kill, beat and abuse all the little people who have the temerity to wander in their exclusive enclaves.
    The peasants can police themselves, and let’s face it, they’re doing a great job in the redistribution of wealth in the major cities lately.
    Besides, no nation needs a police force.
    We’re all angels and only become nefarious when we don’t get what we want.
    I suggest we redistribute all the wealth so we’re all equal financially, and if we run out of other people’s money, then we’ll riot, loot, vandalize, poop our diapers and throw tantrums until we get what we want.
    Cops?
    Who needs them when we have socialism?

    1. That’s pretty much how it is already. Beverly Hills and Palos Verdes (the two richest areas in LA) have their own police force. In the 1992 riots a request was sent from the LAPD to the BHPD and the PVPD for backup. None came. They road blocked the entrance to the estate and ensured only residents of the estates entered. By defunding police in LA it drives residents with more wealth out, this ensuring that LA remains the shit-hole it wants to be.

  13. “But that only works if cities are willing to give up that money.”

    Give up the money? But I thought you said that they over promised pensions and will have to go after tax payers for more money. What can they give up?

  14. One other aspect of this my fellow libertarians should be pushing . . .

    Pelosi’s bill that would spend $1 trillion to bail out state and local governments flies in the face of defunding the police.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/12/us/politics/democrats-coronavirus-relief-proposal.html

    You can’t support spending $1 trillion on state and local governments, out of one side of your mouth, and support defunding the police out of the other–at least not without contradicting yourself.

  15. 3 Libertarian Tips for the #DefundPolice Movement Ensuring a Conservative Landslide for the 2020 Elections.
    There…FIFY.

    58% of likely voters say the police acted correctly or not aggressively enough.

    1. Everybody hated Nixon in the seventies at least everybody I knew. Then he won 49 states.

    2. sad but true

  16. Great article Scott. Nice shot of reality for the defunders. They got what they voted for.

  17. Very first sentence is a lie. Scott’s making a strong effort at Shikha’s spot.

    1. Third sentence is referencing a thing he lied about a few days ago. Incredible.

  18. Cops are beating up and tear-gassing peaceful protesters while actual looters run rampant.

    Of course, because looters don’t announce their schedule. Next time protest without warning. The element of surprise should make the protest more effective too.

  19. Los Angeles currently spends $1.8 billion on law enforcement out of its total $10.5 billion total budget—and that doesn’t include pensions and health care.

    …The L.A. “People’s Budget,” based on interviews with more than 1,000 Angelenos, suggests cutting law enforcement spending to less than 6 percent of the city’s general spending—instead of the current 54 percent

    Was there some mistake, or do pensions and health care really bring up the spending from 17 to 54%?

  20. 3. What laws, regulations, and taxes are you willing to give up?

    I’m willing to give up all of my taxes. Property, Income, Sales, all of it.

    1. Stunning and Brave

  21. Question for libertarians: How do you persuade a populace to move to an anarchocapitalist version of policing? Do you just defund and cripple police departments so badly that citizens must begin hiring private security? How do you make sure providing that is legalized so that people are not left defenseless?

    1. Baby steps along the way…

      https://reason.com/2020/06/05/5-ways-to-curtail-police-violence-and-prevent-more-deaths-like-george-floyds/#comments

      Get an endless parade of stupid laws off of the books, end the molly-coddling of known-bad cops (poor judgment cops), get rid of micro-managing gun-ownership rights of citizens, nationwide registry of bad (fired) cops, and do some union-busting of public employee unions in general… Being employed by the taxpayers isn’t a “right”.

      That would get us started!

    2. Question for libertarians: How do you persuade a populace to move to an anarchocapitalist version of policing?

      Impossible, sadly.

  22. “Cops are beating up and tear-gassing peaceful protesters while actual looters run rampant.” you left out the unspoken, but obviously inferred, “all”.

    That’s as much of a faulty generalization as saying “Protesters looted and burned stores”, again with the implied “all”.

  23. Presumably, cutting back on police will reduce the number of fees and fines being extracted from citizens. That would be good! But that means the local government will have less money,

    You say that like it’s a bad thing. I call it a win win.

  24. What laws, regulations, and taxes are you willing to give up?

    Pretty close to all of them. Next question?

  25. The police were a problem.

    During the lockdowns they were doing the bidding of the governors and mayors, intimidating and arresting people protesting for their right to make a living.

    They were the enforcement arm of the leftists that control our cities.

    An armed force.

    If things went sideways, it was expected that they’d toss their lot in with the leftists–or enough of them would (all the appointed upper echelons, all the Social Justice hires) that it wouldn’t make a difference– and the left would have enough of an organized armed force to cause some trouble.

    Now though…

    The police, of all races, have been tossed under the bus. Good cops, bad cops, it doesn’t matter, oppressors are oppressors.

    Defund the pigs, amirite?

    So the left has shit in the face of the only organized armed force that they MIGHT have had.

    What’s left? They’ve got the media. They’ve got academia. And antifa and all the other arms of the ‘resistance’.

    Will the nation be able to cope with the scolding of the blue-haired harridans?

    You do what YOU want, Karen, and we’ll do what WE want–but you’re not going to like it.

    1. China.

      And the next time a dem gets elected president they will have at least half the US military too.

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  26. Sell off all “public” property and the rest takes care of itself.

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