Police reform activists are asking that cities stop relying on reforms as the only solution to police violence. Instead, they propose, spend less money on the police and more on social programs that can improve public safety.
Five years ago, in the wake of the killing of Michael Brown and other high-profile deaths at the hands of the police, six cities took part in a national program designed to help reform policing, from training in implicit racial bias and how to de-escalate tense situations to new standards for the use of force and early-warning systems designed to identify officers at risk of causing violence. Minneapolis—where George Floyd was killed by police—was one of the cities that participated, but there’s no broader evidence that the reforms helped change officer behavior.
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