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Police reform: why the experience of Russia — not USA. Irina Alksnis

Police reform: why the experience of Russia — not USA. Irina Alksnis

At a meeting in the White house Donald trump has rejected proposals to reduce the funding of the American police, or even its complete dissolution. He said that the police allow the country to “live in peace”, and 99% of its employees — “wonderful people” whose work “breaks all records”. Earlier on Twitter, the President was even more emphatic, saying that the radical left Democrats, promoting such initiatives, “crazy”.

The attention of the President to this question is largely involuntary. Topic normally discussed in the environment is that political fringe, have become a significant part of the public and even the government agenda in the United States. And it went way beyond high-sounding but empty statements.


The city Council of Minneapolis, where he died during the arrest, George Floyd, voted to disband the police Department itself. And we must pay tribute to the sincerity of the people’s representatives, who honestly admit that they don’t know exactly how to transform the system, and to suppress the cruelty of the authorities, and to prevent the collapse of society into chaos. Among their proposed to discuss the measures is, for example, an impressive idea to direct some of the challenges (particularly in cases of family violence and youth warfare) social workers.

In turn, mayors of new York and Los Angeles announced a reduction in the funding of the city police, and the released funds will be allocated for support of social sphere. In the relevant States — new York and California — have already been taken and legal acts that dramatically increase the responsibility of security forces for the use of violence and expressly prohibit some of the techniques (including strangulation).

At the Federal level, a bill on large-scale reform of the American police are represented in Congress by Democrats. The document envisages the removal of restrictions on the criminal prosecution of the guards and compensation for abuse.
Also we are talking about changing the standards for evaluation of the justification of the use of force by law enforcement officers: if now it is enough to prove that their actions were reasonable, in the case of a law they have to prove that they were “vital”. All cases of violence by the police is offered to fix in the National register of misconduct by race, gender, physical abilities, religion and age.

Statistics indeed provides ample opportunity to verify the redundancy of the cruelty and racism of the American police. Data collected by the TV channel CNN, indicate that during the arrest and shortly thereafter in the United States kill far more people than in any other developed country, and the blacks, under similar circumstances, a disproportionately killed — three times more often than whites.

Overall nothing new, the channel is not opened. The propensity of American police about and no reason to use violence, including to shoot to kill, no longer a secret — high-profile scandals related incidents already familiar.

Rather surprising that the authorities — both Republicans and Democrats — so long ignored the obvious standing problem, resulting in the current situation has become downright phantasmagoric turnover.

It is worth Recalling that ten years ago, Russia launched a large-scale reform of the interior Ministry, the reason for which was a series of high profile incidents and crimes with the participation of members of the then police.

It hurt the reputation of law enforcement. But, by the way, their discontent in Russian society never reached a critical level. For example, in 2009, at the peak of negativity in the light of the case Evsukova and other scandals, negatively assessed the work of the police, only 27 percent of respondents, that is, in principle, the government could continue to ignore the problem.

However, the leadership of the country, those events were a signal that the situation has gone too far and requires a radical intervention, including staffing, cleaning, and changing of work rules. All this was done without defamation and humiliation of law enforcement.


A decade later, the country is reaping the fruits of those decisions. Scandalous incidents continue to happen, but they are so rare that for a long time not perceived as part of the system. Evaluation of the work of the police by citizens has drastically improved. Russian society sees and feels the reality of the changes.

That’s why on the background of domestic developments in the United States look particularly strange — we have gone through similar.

Over the ocean, instead of strategic vision and actions for anticipation by many generations of American authorities carefully turned a blind eye to growing problems in police work and the growth of public discontent. Now, when finally pulled, politicians have chosen not to work together, and to use the situation to escalate domestic conflict, adding fuel to the fire of unrest. And we are talking about the key for the capacity of any state structure, whose collapse — if it happens — can cause unpredictable, but extremely unpleasant consequences to the country as a whole.

However, it once again says a lot about the professionalism, maturity and values of liberal US politicians for which to blame the hated tramp — more-important priority than preserving the American state system as such. Source

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Police reform: why the experience of Russia — not USA. Irina Alksnis

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