UIUC: Defund Urbana PD, Champaign PD, Illinois PD

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Considering numerous cases of police brutality and excessive police violence with recent protests across the nation, along with obvious targeting of the Black community, it is in the best interest of students and their safety to defund the Urbana, Champaign, and Illinois police forces. The police departments associated with the University of Illinois have a violent, racist, and sexually abusive history, and pose as a constant threat to student safety. Instead of funding police, the University can redirect funding towards mental health specialists, social workers, medical resources, education, and healthcare for its students. Studies show that as quality and abundance of social resources increase, crime rates decrease, indicating the safest cities prioritize constructive and specialized resources over law enforcement. 

Minnesota Public Schools, the University of Minnesota, and other national organizations are continuing to cut ties with this racist, violent, and power-misusing department of law enforcement. A diverse community such as the University of Illinois needs to ensure the comfort, trust, and safety of all students if we are to move forward and continue advocating for racial equality and social justice in a progressive, risk free manner. Involving police forces in student life and regulation will only continue to instill fear in and threaten the student body. It is time we protect others as we would ourselves, and consider how repetitive misuses of power from countless “bad apples” reflect on the whole. This is not a profession that can allow “bad apples” without threatening the mental and physical health and safety of students. We, as a community, need to reevaluate which services will best benefit the development of our students, along with assuring them those who are supposed to protect them, will.