Why is Policing in the Spotlight?
The death of George Floyd at the hands of police on May 25th served as a catalyst for widespread protests all over the USA. What began in Minneapolis soon spread to most major metropolitan areas in the USA. Other cases such as Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, and Rayshard Brooks (among many many others), began a nationwide conversation regarding policing and the history of police and black communities. These events brought about a surge of ideas that one point were considered fringe (even among people critical of police actions), such as de-funding and abolition. Media outlets such as NPR began running articles highlighting these ideas and the city of Minneapolis would eventually vote to dismantle their police force. Along with this shifting narrative around policing, there is also a shifting narrative regarding justice and punishment with restorative justice being sought out as a replacement to the prison system. This blog post aims to define and highlight the ideas of policing reform, de-funding, and abolition along with restorative justice. The relationship and discussion around these terms is extremely complicated and cannot be fully explained in a blog post. However, with the growing shift of discourse around policing and justice it is important for us as information professionals to connect patrons to resources and definitions. The bulk of this post will focus on policing, although restorative justice will be defined and featured in some articles.