THBT the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement should campaign for reforming instead of defunding the police force

Motion: THBT the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement should campaign for reforming instead of defunding the police force.



What is the theme?

Socio-political issues, contemporary issues, minority rights, justice, social theories, and morality/ethics.

Why is this debate?

With the growing issue of social spaces increasing, political tensions tightening, police violence, and unresolved and persisting systemically racist flaws, the question of law enforcement(/police force) reformation is significant today.

Why is this debate?

The deep-rooted issue in America’s policing system is its dramatic and unprecedented expansion and intensity in the last 40 years leading to a fundamental shift in the role of police in society stimulating excessive power, control and brutality that is faced today.

What to prove to win?

In order to win this debate, side proposition must address:

  1. Reforms address the cause of the problem; systemic racism.
  2. Providing security and safety.
  3. Strengthening the accountability and credibility of the police force.
  4. Achieving racial equality.

What to prove to win?

In order to win this debate, side opposition must address:

  • The root of the issue is the excessive power and control caused due to over reliance on the system of policing and the role it holds in society.
  • Funding this system is essentially funding a cycle of violence and therefore needs to be broken.
  • How reforms fail/will fail to achieve what they’re been established for.
  • We are fundamentally restructuring the very system that has by its root embedded brutality, and by doing so we are creating a greater and exclusive social safety net for discriminated communities, tackling societal issues such as housing and drugs as well as ending police brutality effectively.

What is the principle/message/value?

  • Inclusivity and safety.
  • Providing reform in the issue that directly affects them, reshaping the prejudiced mentalities of the police, broadening their mindsets and increasing trust in the police force.

What is the principle/ message/value?

Increased power means increased brutality.

Clash Area/points

What is the root cause of police brutality? (mindsets or funds)

  • The various core issues that contribute to police brutality are including the insular culture of police departments (including the Blue wall of silence), the aggressive defense of police officers and resistance to change in police unions, the broad legal protections granted to police officers, the extreme militarization
  • Police officers often still hold significant advantages in legal proceedings and in courts. Records of officer performance and misconduct are sometimes hidden from public view through laws.
  • EVEN if we reduce funding, we will never really see a tangible change WITHIN the police force, AND THAT IS EXACTLY what we need to change.
  • The high amount of funding is not the cause behind the racist mindsets of these policemen. It is the racist mindsets deep rooted in the police force.

What are the long term and short term effects of reforms?

  • In the short term, we see that there is a gradual change in the police workforce, seeing a gradual shift of the police towards humanity, towards equality and inclusion. We see better training tactics adopted and better policemen.
  • In the long term, we see a much better working police force, an entity that fulfills its obligation of providing safety for the nation, because firstly, we have structurally reformed the flaws that were the root cause of police brutality

We see justice being served to those who deserve it, a police force that is not racially against black minorities, a nation, where people are treated equally and a justice system that punishes those policemen who take unfair advantage of their position.

What are the long term and short term effects of defunding?

  • In the short term, we MAY see a reduction in the force that the police exerts. But that is HIGHLY UNLIKELY, because we are dealing with RACIST MINDSETS here and that means, reduction of funding simply does not change anything WITHIN the police force.
  • In the long term, we see the poor and marginalized people suffering, policing tactics worsening, police force being even more brutal, due to the mindset that still persists. People WHO NEED the police force suffer.

Clash Area/points

What is the root cause of police brutality?

  • The power that the police force is endowed with –  that is the root cause of police brutality.
  • Why is there so much power? OVER FUNDING
  • A whopping $100 billion is being funded to the police force every single year. And what happens with that money? OVER MILITARIZATION and OVER POLICING
  • What does this lead to? Police Brutality
  • Reforms HAVE NOT and WILL NOT work, unless the power being given to the police force is reduced. Unless weaponry reduces. Unless there is change WITHIN the police force. (examples of Minneapolis and Chicago)

What are the long term and short term effects of defunding?

  • In the short term, we see that there is a reduction in the power  given to the police force. There is a gradual decrease in incidents of police brutality and incidents of violence.
  • In the long term, due to the divestment in the police force and investment in community based, racial equality based programs and sectors, there are less incidents of violence against the blacks. Not just by the police force, but also by communities as a whole. On our side, we see inclusion, racial equality, inclusion and united communities.

What are the long term and short term effects of reforming?

  • In the short term, we see no change at all. Firstly, because legislative and structural reforms simply take EXCESSIVE money and time. And in the end, what happens? No change. Just like we saw a decade ago, when the Obama administration campaigned for reform, but it simply did not work out for many reasons, like too much power being given to the police force and the HUGE, HUGE barrier of Police Unions. Police Unions have continually opposed legal reforms because it challenges their position. Instead of giving them this chance to oppose such reforms, why don’t we directly cut funding and reduce the power in the hands of the police?
  • In the long term, since neither reforms have taken place, nor has defunding taken place, there is a return to perpetuated police brutality and racial equality is a long gone dream, which simply cannot be achieved as long as excessive power is still in the hands of a racially unjust system. EVEN IF reforms do work, there WILL be a gradual shift back to the old times, because the power is still extremely high in the hands of the police force.

Definition & Model

Black Lives Matter movement: Black Lives Matter (BLM) is a decentralized political and social movement advocating for non-violent civil disobedience in protest against incidents of police brutality and all racially motivated violence against black people; racial equality.

Reform: make changes in (something, especially an institution or practice) in order to improve it.

Defund: prevent from continuing to receive funds.

Model: side proposition must invest in restructuring and reforming the laws that govern us. With the support from the Justice Department, necessary pressure, side proposition can impose reforms and stricter laws on the police unions and forces. Reforms would be placed in a way that reform efforts should address racial and economic inequities and other societal problems, some caused by policing itself, to be effective.


Definition & Model

Black Lives Matter movement: Black Lives Matter (BLM) is a decentralized political and social movement advocating for non-violent civil disobedience in protest against incidents of police brutality and all racially motivated violence against black people.

Reform: make changes in (something, especially an institution or practice) in order to improve it.

Defund: redirecting and reallocating funds (from an organisation.)

Model: We must cut the amount of money that our governments spend on law enforcement and give that money to more helpful services like job training, counseling, and violence-prevention programs. “Defund the police” means reallocating or redirecting funding away from the police department to other government agencies and community groups funded by the local municipality.

Clarification: Funding will be significantly reduced but not brought down to a net-zero.

Advocates still see a role for police officers, albeit a significantly diminished one. They view officers as a last resort, reserved for the most serious crimes, and for true emergencies as opposed to the roles they currently serve as default first responders. HENCE SECURITY WILL NOT BE COMPROMISED.


Reformations combat systemic and structural racism.

First off, we need to be clear as to what the Black Lives Matter movement is aiming for. The Black Lives Matter is fighting racial equality, but the problem that persists is they’re under a system that deems them as irrelevant.

Racial equality cannot be achieved no matter how many times people want it unless the structural working of the police force/justice system is reformed.

Secondly, why are reforms important and why reformation? The police force is based on slave patrol. It is systemically racist. We cannot make the police force equal to unequal people, a reform must be passed.

These reforms will be implemented in regards to the black lives matter movement. Side proposition strongly opposes defunding the police on the principal reason of public security and safety, side proposition strictly does not encourage the reduction of law enforcement in the public as it reduces public safety and puts people at risk.

For example, in Chicago, US, on 31st of May 2020, when the police force and law enforcement was reduced, crime rates and destruction of society evidently rose by a concerning 15%. Defunding the police force or reallocating the funds will ensue to absolutely no change, it’s still an inherently bad system. You take away 30-100% of funding that goes to the police force and so what? It’s still a structurally wrong system.

Racism(/racist mindsets) can only come to an end if we contend with the policies and institutional barriers that perpetuate and preserve the inequality—economic and social— that we still see all around us.

With renewed vigor, we should aim in advocating and promoting policies at all levels that will combat racism and its effects in our civic and social institutions.

Pragmatic effects

Why is defunding a fundamentally flawed idea?

First of all, defunding the police reduces funding for vitally important training and ongoing professional development that needs to occur to address bad policing tactics.

Police brutality usually occurs when overly aggressive policing tactics are implemented in dramatic fashion, or with evil intent. Although police abuse of power is rare overall, just one time is too many.

If we defund the police, those most affected will be the poor and the marginalized. Wealthy neighborhoods will hire private security as they are already doing, and poorer neighborhoods will have to fend for themselves even more than they already have to. Delays in police response and lack of police capacity will increase fear of crime, render victims of crime helpless and wreak havoc on communities, especially communities of color, even more so than is already the case.

To reduce this type of violence, we should reevaluate policing tactics and make sure our police are trained in the most effective de-escalation skills and techniques possible. If the training that police must undergo gets cut back, we will see a sharp rise in bad use of force decisions and abuse of power. Good policing requires a commitment to robust training that must be ongoing. This requires reformation.

So, this question arises: what do we do to stop police brutality and address the need for police reform?

We need real criminal justice reform that is focused on improving public safety and making the system fairer. The law enforcement community, as a whole, must work with legislators to reevaluate tactics and training. Law enforcement captains and leaders should evaluate whether their officers have empathy for the community they are sworn to protect. Localities should also perform better oversight of police departments.

In 2015, a federal Task Force on 21st Century Policing, created by President Barack Obama, issued various recommendations to improve policing, including the utilization of best practice methodology for police tactics and techniques. Defunding the police was not part of their recommendations.







The systemic failure of policing

The deep-rooted issue of policing?

  • Reliance on police departments is poor execution of public policy because police specialize in violent crime, but violent crime only represents a small portion of the sprawling civil services they perform. This money could be used more effectively when diverted to instutions who are specialized and professionally trained to deal with those issues.
  • More than half of police work addresses non-criminal issues. Like traffic regulation, drugs, housing to civil services and health care workers already present in society. However, We have asked them to do too much, and we have neglected the investments and institutions that are better trained and would make their presence less necessary. HENCE it is both safer and more efficient
  • Increasing police budgets increases the number of officers, which increases the scope of officers’ duties, which increases officers’ interactions with civilians, which increases opportunities for police violence.
  • eg. “Baltimore is spending way too much money on policing to solve only 30% of murders.”
  • How has policing failed to meet its obligation? Policing in the current status quo has not only become racist, classist and violent but also ineffective AND counterproductive.
  • This system is largely threatening social safety especially in black concentrated neighborhoods, where protection has a significantly diminished role.

Pragmatic effects

Reformation is a fundamentally flawed idea. Simply reformation without defunding cannot bring about a fundamental change in the system today.

It’s becoming increasingly clear, too, that the reforms we’ve already tried are running headlong into other difficult to measure, difficult to fix forces, like police culture. RISK IN DOING TOO LITTLE WITH NO ASSURANCE.

These are the kinds of problems that make us argue that simply reducing contact between police and civilians, and replacing the police with other community resources, is a much better way to address police violence.

EG., reform has been tried, and it has been found wanting. This year, the police department in Tucson, Arizona, was noted as “progressive” and “reform-minded” and had “banned chokeholds and shooting at moving vehicles, embracing a range of measures aimed at reducing police violence,”. Yet local officers still killed Carlos Ingram-Lopez, a Latino man who was experiencing a mental health crisis when he was killed, and withheld the video for months.

Reallocating resources to a wider social safety net

Well, we’ve created this situation where our political leaders have basically abandoned the possibility of actually housing people. Which, of course, is the real solution, supportive housing for those who need extra support. And instead criminalize such issues.

So then it places police in this completely untenable situation where they lack the proficiency to deal with the issue

Part of our misunderstanding about the nature of policing. But police are violence workers. That’s what distinguishes them from all other government functions. … They have the legal capacity to use violence in situations where the average citizen would be arrested.

So when we turn a problem over to the police to manage, there will be violence, because those are ultimately the tools that they are most equipped to utilize: handcuffs, threats, guns, arrests. That’s what really is at the root of policing. So if we don’t want violence, we should try to figure out how to not get the police involved.

There has been such a massive disinvestment in the social safety net that should exist to give black communities an opportunity to thrive, whether it’s access to health care or housing or education or jobs.

The case for defunding the police rests on the concept that it is more effective and efficient to shift responsibility away from officers and departments to civil service and care workers specifically trained to handle medical and logistical problems.


– This Content has been provided by Victoria Honoridez. We would like to thank her for the material!