#Defund the #VPD – #BC’s Largest and Most Dangerous #StreetGang

Let’s talk about the cops for a sec, shall we? More specifically let’s chat about the Vancouver Police Department specifically. These guys have been left unchecked for too long and the poorest neighbourhood in Canada is finding out what that can do to a police force.

Now before we get too far into this I want to be foreright in saying that I am a firm believer in the Defund the Police movement. A lot of people hear “Defund the Police” and assume that the idea is just to abolish police presence in society and hope for the best. I’ve spoken to more than one person, usually over 50, who discredits the idea based on this misconception and refuses to look any further into it. I sometimes wonder if the way this has been presented has done a bit of a disservice to the idea itself.

For those who haven’t ever really dug deeper into the request to Defund the Police, the quick rundown is as follows…
We believe that resources currently allocated to enforcement would be better put to use in a preventative capacity. The theory is that if there are better supports in place for those with mental health issues, those in extreme poverty, those who are underemployed, and those who are unable to work, those people will no longer have to engage in crimes of necessity. Of course, in this equation drug addiction is probably one of the biggest challenges so there are a number of approaches to address crimes related to drug use as well.

If you’ll take a quick second here to reflect on the paragraph above, you might note that the solution presented is to support people instead of punishing them. That’s pretty much the bottom line. Instead of allocating massive amounts of money to a system that punishes the marginalized, we believe in the value of elevating those people.

There will always be a criminal element to society, and we’re not suggesting that social safety nets will create a utopian dream world where no one breaks the law. What we’re saying is that the system is obviously failing many and that we need to address it.

Because I’ve been keeping my eyes on the Vancouver Police for a few weeks and what I’m seeing is concerning to say the least. What’s up with these weapons? Are these really necessary to handle people being completely cooperative?

Tensions have been mounting in the Downtown East Side (DTES) for at least a week. I can say this because I’m seeing increasing chatter about it on my local social connections posts. There have been numerous videos posted showing alarming interactions with the police. People are being mistreated. Police are overstepping and avoiding accountability. Today things seemingly exploded.

The police disassembled the homeless camps, offering no solutions of where to go, in the sweltering heat of August. They offered trash cans as “storage” and absolutely no system for reclaiming their possessions. The City of Vancouver promised better, BC Housing promised better, The BC NDP promised better, and yet here we are again.

The conflict continued as shown in the following video and videos that follow in the thread.

I can’t imagine anyone can watch those videos and, regardless of their feelings on the situation, come away from this feeling like this approach is fair or effective. I have to suppose that we can all agree changes are desperately needed to address this issue.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Phaedra says:

    This is such a well written post, Lindsay, and as a 51 year old woman, I agree to Defund the Police. I worked on the DTES, and the treatment of people there is beyond inhuman. I can’t imagine having all my belongings taken and being told to scram. These folks need support, not to be marginalized further.

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