On this episode of the It's Going Down podcast, we speak with abolitionist Alex Vitale, author of the new book, The End of Policing. In our discussion, we look at the abolitionist movement one year after the George Floyd uprising, with Vitale arguing that we have seen a massive shift, both in terms of gains made by the movement and a massive change in the consciousness of millions of people.
We also discuss how the uprising has exposed and created clear cracks within policing itself: from divisions within the top police brass coming to the surface, to departments across the US struggling to hire new officers, to law enforcement suffering a legitimacy crisis, and police and corporate mass media struggling to link a slight rise in gun deaths with calls to defund the police.
Throughout our conversation, Vitale argues that neoliberal attempts to reform the police through sensitivity training, diversifying police departments, and things like body cameras have done little to bring down levels of violence and police killings. At a time when both parties are calling for more cops, abolitionists must continue to set their sights on systemic change across the board, building off of relationships made through community organizing and grassroots campaigns, which seek to move the movement forward.