How redefining the role of a police officer is the only way to get true justice in police shootings

The answer to violence is not more violence. The answer to violence — as the abolitionist author and activist Mariame Kaba has written extensively — is achieved through collective organizing.

There are already organizations doing the hard work. One such organization is Critical Resistance, a grassroots organization based in Oakland that works on resisting jail construction and expansion, while chipping away at communities’ reliance on policing. Mohamed Shehk, an activist with Critical Resistance, told the story of Kayla Moore, a transgender woman who suffered from paranoid schizophrenia, and who died in police custody in 2013 while experiencing a “psychiatric emergency.”

“What if, instead of police showing up, in Kayla Moore’s case, you had mental health professionals, or people who knew how to handle that situation?” Shehk says. “This is what we talk about when we talk about alternatives to these systems, and it’s not that far-fetched.”

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