Police terror and mass incarceration do not exist in a vacuum. In our country, harm and punishment have invaded every aspect of society, and have done so with surgical racial precision. We see it in the ways we address drug dependency and mental health crises by disproportionately putting Black and Brown people behind bars instead of providing holistic treatment.
We see it in inhumane panhandling laws and cash bail that punishes people for being poor. We see it when we suspend Black children from school and give them detention at disproportionate rates. At each step, our government has legitimized punishing Black and Brown people. It is not surprising, then, that the police commit harm and violence against Black and Brown bodies with impunity—and at alarming rates.