Violence against Women at UNCC:More Police & More Surveillance Won’t Protect Us
-Numerous places on campus, including in front of Fretwell, where lighting on the walkways is often either off or only partially working after dark. This provides numerous blind spots that need to be addressed…
-A lack of security cameras in the majority of the buildings. This is an upgrade that could easily be considered a far better reason for tuition hikes than to pay off $40.5 million in borrowed money. In addition, there are NUMEROUS grants available for better safety measures on college campuses. One such program, Community Oriented Policing Services/COPS has invested nearly $905 Million in our country’s schools and universities to implement better safety measures….
-Finally, one of the biggest points of discussion has been the lack of a noticeable security presence on campus…An increased foot patrol of either paid security or police would be a welcome and comforting change to the campus at large, as well as a more than justifiable reason for increasing fees.
…I got the sense a lot of privileged white feminists learned a lesson many people of color, undocumented, poor, and trans folks have known forever: the police are not your friend.
Yes, there are decent people on the police force. But the job of the police is to preserve the status quo. Topeka, Kansas decriminalizing domestic violence is a stark recent example of how much the police and the whole criminal legal system don’t care about sexual violence. And in fact, we’ve seen the worst of this in cops raping a woman and getting away with it. The issue isn’t that there are a few bad cops, or that there are a few good ones. The problem is the institution of the police itself. They’re a force that works for those who are in control to maintain the social order. Anyone working to realize social justice, anyone trying to change an unjust social order, could come up against the police at some moment or another.
This is a lesson many feminists have been slow to learn. Folks who have grown up with the police serving and protecting them understandably think the police work for them. Folks who’ve grown up being harassed by the police – who’ve seen their family members pulled over for no reason, arrested for being in public space, or totally ignored or even charged when they were a victim of a crime – have a different image. When the cops work for you, it seems like a pretty good idea to trust them to serve and protect. When you’ve been a target of the police, you tend to see a different picture. A lot of feminists with more privilege, and therefore a bigger megaphone, have an experience of the police that doesn’t mesh with what more marginalized folks have seen.