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NO MORE POLICE by Mariame Kaba Kirkus Star


A Case for Abolition

by Mariame Kaba & Andrea J. Ritchie

Pub Date: Aug. 30th, 2022
ISBN: 978-1-62097-732-3
Publisher: The New Press

Two seasoned activists make a convincing case for defunding the police.

As Kaba and Ritchie note, defunding “means investing the billions currently poured into policing and the prison-industrial complex into community-based safety strategies: meeting basic needs that include housing, health care, access to care for disabled people, childcare, elder care, a basic guaranteed income, and accessible, sustainable living-wage jobs.” The authors use three main arguments. First, they show how policing endangers, rather than protects, America’s most vulnerable communities. Second, they claim that calls for reforming the police—rather than abolition—are futile because the inherent violence of policing makes it impossible to reform. Finally, they argue that there are more effective ways to promote safety. “We call for abolition of police because, despite all of the power, resources and legitimacy we pour into them, they cannot and will not deliver safety,” they write. Kaba and Ritchie begin by showing how police manufacture crimes by focusing on making most of their arrests in certain “hot spots”—which, they argue, is code for brown and Black neighborhoods—while ignoring others. This perpetuates a culture of “fearmongering” that politicians use to divert funds to police and away from social services programs that have been proven to prevent violence. The authors urge a shift to an “abundance mindset,” in which the government stops using resources to punish marginalized populations and instead uses them to meet every American’s needs. Furthermore, they urge us to listen to survivors, who often encounter violence in the very systems that are allegedly set up to protect them. Kaba and Ritchie are knowledgeable, passionate, and skilled at elucidating complex concepts clearly, without sacrificing nuance. The book is deeply researched and flawlessly argued, and the plan they lay out is practical, compassionate, and circumspect.

A brilliantly articulated plan to abolish the police.