An Alternative to Police That Police Can Get Behind
Date:  01-06-2021

Eugene, Oregon’s Crisis Assistance Helping Out on the Streets, (CAHOOTS) has staff of unarmed outreach workers and medics is trained in crisis intervention and de-escalation
From The Atlantic:

Should American cities defund their police departments? The question has been asked continually—with varying degrees of hope, fear, anger, confusion, and cynicism—since the killing of George Floyd on Memorial Day. It hung over the November election: on the right, as a caricature in attack ads (call 911, get a recording) and on the left as a litmus test separating the incrementalists from the abolitionists. “Defund the police” has sparked polarized debate, in part, because it conveys just one half of an equation, describing what is to be taken away, not what might replace it. Earlier this month, former President Barack Obama called it a “snappy slogan” that risks alienating more people than it will win over to the cause of criminal-justice reform.

Yet the defund idea cannot simply be dismissed. Its backers argue that armed agents of the state are called upon to address too many of society’s problems—problems that can’t be solved at the end of a service weapon. And continued cases of police violence in response to calls for help have provided regular reminders of what can go wrong as a result.

In September, for example, new details came to light about the death of a man in Rochester, New York, which police officials had initially described as a drug overdose. Two months before Floyd’s death, Joe Prude had called 911 because his brother Daniel was acting erratically. Body-cam footage obtained by the family’s attorney revealed that the officers who responded to the call placed a mesh hood over Daniel’s head and held him to the ground until he stopped moving. He died a week later from “complications of asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint,” according to the medical examiner. Joe Prude had called 911 to help his brother in the midst of a mental-health crisis. “I didn’t call them to come help my brother die,” he has said. Continue reading >>>