Thread. You're going to hear a lot about how cops need more resources because "crime is surging" in the next few months. It's propaganda, and here's how you can respond:
First, what constitutes a "crime" is determined by people in power who have a lot of money.
Second, police control and manipulate crime stats for political reasons. In addition, police don't even count the **violent crimes that police commit,** which would entirely reverse the crime stats in every city and state.
Third, police and prosecutors ignore most "crime." They only look for some kinds of crime committed by some people in some places. So, police are terrible at preventing harm. Read more with hundreds of examples here:…
Fourth, only 4% of police time is spent on what they call "violent crime." And police are terrible at solving or preventing "violent crime." Overwhelming evidence establishes that police and prisons actually increases future "crime."…
Fourth, what police call “crime” is different from what causes harm. E.g., tobacco kills 480,000 people every year in the United States, including 41,000 from second-hand smoke alone. These preventable deaths dwarf police-reported data on deaths from the drugs cops call “crime.”
Fifth, the same is true of water/air pollution and fraudulent home foreclosures, all of which cause huge death rates that kill far more people than what cops call homicides. Those are crimes by big corporations and the wealthy people who own them but aren't in police crime stats.
Sixth, wage theft by employers isn't in crime stats b/c it is almost never investigated by police, and yet it costs low-wage workers an estimated $50 billion per year, dwarfing the cost of all police-reported robberies, burglaries, larcenies, and motor vehicle thefts combined.
Seventh, people will say: but even if "crime" is politicized and even if "violent crime" is actually down, "shootings" are up. Well, sale of guns is up 40%! Of course shootings are up! And there is no evidence that cops stop shootings. It's a problem but not one more cops solves!
Eighth, the current initial trend of more shootings is especially accelerated in places that increased police funding. See a few examples:
Ninth, this idea of “soaring” crime after a few dozen more shootings w/o reporting how many people died from unstable housing, lack of access to healthcare, race-based pollution, or malnutrition is how elites keep us focused on solutions of control and profit and not liberation.
Tenth, not all human tragedy is preventable, but quite a lot of it is, and accepting propaganda on “crime” and police data about that concept as a proxy for holistic public safety is the original sin of most writing in this topic. Read more @curaffairs :…
*Update* Eleventh, I just needed to add: there is no evidence that police/prosecutors/prisons reduce "crime," especially that they reduce crime relative to other alternatives. Think about the disastrous waste of the "War on Drugs":

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More from @equalityAlec

10 Jun
Thread: A few years ago, Republicans in Houston hired a corporate law firm to defend money bail, which caged tens of thousands of poor people if they didn't have cash and separated tens of thousands of children from their parents in Houston each year. The story is shocking. (1)
Poor people were brought to a basement in the jail, not given lawyers, and told to be quiet during their own bail hearings. They were mocked, ridiculed, and separated from their families in a matter of seconds. Watch this: (2)
These corporate lawyers got paid more than $10 million to defend what you just watched. And their argument in court was that there was no one poor in the jail who couldn't pay cash bail. People were in cages because they "want" to be there! (3)…
Read 5 tweets
9 Jun
I finally listened to @theallinpod Episode 33 that people have been asking me to weigh in on. (It's the last 10 minutes of an episode where four wealthy tech people, @DavidSacks @jason @chamath @friedberg talk about "progressive prosecutors.") A few thoughts:
First, it's always amazing to me when smart people speak publicly about important issues they know almost nothing about. Virtually every word that they say about "crime," prosecutors, and the legal system is demonstrably wrong.
Second, they seem like people who might be persuadable by hearing from people who are experts. I've written some basic background on how the wasteful punishment bureaucracy functions and how prosecutors fit in. I hope they'll check it out and engage.…
Read 6 tweets
9 Jun
THREAD. In my years fighting against the punishment bureaucracy, people in power have often tried to get me to accept bad things by telling me to "be practical" and to "be patient." A few thoughts:
First, powerful people telling you to "be practical" are usually wrong about strategy. These people want you to accept the best possible deal they are offering you under the existing circumstances, but they don't see that our plan is to **change the circumstances.**
Second, these people came to power in the highest period of human caging in modern world history. Their baseline for what is acceptable, normal, and urgent is all off, often because they aren't directly connected to human beings struggle for survival.
Read 5 tweets
8 Jun
UPDATE: Democrats in the NY Senate have just confirmed by "voice vote" Cuomo's unqualified right-wing judges. Many who call themselves "progressives" like @bradhoylman and @SenGianaris were privately and publicly given damning evidence of corruption and chose not to stop it.
Read 4 tweets
8 Jun
A few thoughts about "crime." The concept of “crime” is created and manipulated by people who have power. Throughout U.S. history, powerful people have defined “crime” in ways that benefit wealthy people and white people. (1)
For example, cocaine, marijuana, and opium were each made illegal through specific political campaigns in order to give police more discretion to target specific racial minorities. (2)
It is illegal for poor people to wager over dice in the streets but legal for wealthy people to wager on the global price of wheat, the value of international currencies, or mortgage securities. (3)
Read 6 tweets
6 Jun
Thread: Did you know that the billionaire owner of the @DetroitPistons makes money by charging Black and immigrant families to speak with their loved ones in jail cells? You should know this story, it's incredible. (1)
For decades, if your loved one was in jail, you could usually go and see them and at least hug them. Families depended on it to maintain contact. Remember, most people in jail aren't convicted yet and are in a cage solely because they are so poor they can't pay cash bail. (2)
But big corporations realized there was a lot of money to be made. Years ago, they began having jails get rid of in-person visits so people can't hug their kids b/c it would raise more profit from calls. They worked with officials to get monopoly telecom contracts. (3)
Read 8 tweets

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