Most Americans are already familiar with the stats. Killings by U.S. police reached a new record in 2022, placing one out of every ten to twelve murders in the U.S. at the hands of police. This, of course, does not even address the millions of lives that have been destroyed by police violence which resulted in other types of injury and trauma.
And in addition to the painfully obvious toll this has on society, there is a financial cost to America’s style of policing too. “The U.S. spends at least $759,325,125 per day on police and prisons… $277 billion [a year],” according to Stephen Semler from a Jan. 2022 Speaking Security Newsletter.
Perhaps it’s time to have far fewer police in our country and take the billions spent on them to fund other jobs that can deal with social crises.
Let’s try something crazy. Let’s look at what U.S. police actually do every day and see how many of their jobs we can replace. I’m not saying get rid of all police tomorrow and see what happens. You and I both know that would mean your neighbor with the handlebar mustache and two-dozen pet parakeets would be dry-humping the jungle gym in the park in no time if there wasn’t some kind of community watch. But maybe we can get the number of actual armed U.S. police down from over 800,000 to a more reasonable number we could keep track of – maybe 60?
So obviously, a lot of police officers’ time is spent standing around. But even if we look past all that pointless time, most of what police do in the U.S. is bullshit.
I’m going to show a chart that ignores all the standing around and only shows the incident reports cops file.
The chart was created by “criminologist Jerry Ratcliffe, who used 2015 data from Philadelphia, a city with relatively high crime rates… The area of each box represents the proportion of reported incidents within that category.”
The larger the box, the more incident reports, so “unfounded radio calls” is the most filed report. That’s when Cops are called when they don’t need to be. So that means either someone is calling them for a stupid reason.
“Hey, send the police! My kid won’t eat his cold McNuggets and I’m trying to teach the prick a lesson.”
Or it means people got spooked and called the cops.
“There’s a pervert in my tree! Or it might be a squirrel.”
One of the reasons cops are called so much for nonsense is that we are socially engineered to believe cops are the solution to everything!
People think idiots with guns will solve anything from a raccoon in the garbage can to a neighbor who called you names. We could stop most, if not all, of these calls by changing the cultural understanding to the police are not your Dad, don’t call people with firearms unless you’re in a war.
Watch the full report above to learn more.
Lee Camp is an American stand-up comedian, writer, actor and activist. Camp is the host of Behind The Headlines’ new series: The Most Censored News With Lee Camp. He is a former comedy writer for the Onion and the Huffington Post and has been a touring stand-up comic for 20 years.