Joseph Choi, The Hill, October 11, 2020
Former NFL player Colin Kaepernick called for the abolition of police and prison systems in a new essay, abandoning his former demands for reform as ineffective and incapable of solving the issues of police brutality and high incarceration rates in the U.S.
In his piece, “The Demand for Abolition,” Kaepernick argues that institutions of justice should concentrate more on the well-being of people instead of controlling them. He laments the lack of progress and the continued killing of unarmed black people by the police that has occurred since he began protesting in 2015.
“Ultimately, I realized that seeking reform would make me an active participant in reforming, reshaping, and rebranding institutional white supremacy, oppression, and death,” Kaepernick wrote.
“To be clear, the abolition of these institutions is not the absence of accountability but rather the establishment of transformative and restorative processes that are not rooted in punitive practices,” he writes. “By abolishing policing and prisons, not only can we eliminate white supremacist establishments, but we can create space for budgets to be reinvested directly into communities to address mental health needs, homelessness and houselessness, access to education, and job creation as well as community-based methods of accountability.”