Open Letter to State Senator Jeff Irwin regarding Senate Bill 0945

We understand your goal with the trainings required by this bill, and that you believe that we can reform the police into being a force for good. However, we feel that this misses the point. This is a tactic that’s been used for decades to appease anyone who wants to meaningfully reform the police, however as evidenced by the current situation it has not worked. We are an abolitionist organization, and so we have a simple goal: Abolish, not reform, the police.

You have stated online that you support citizen oversight, independent investigations, duty to intervene laws, ending qualified immunity, and more. We support all of these measures but as an abolitionist organization we must also stress that they are once again not enough. Additional training and resources only serve to commit more money to police and get the departments even more deeply entrenched in our communities. We demand that you institute the types of reforms that start us down a path towards abolition. That includes defunding police and complete demilitarization.

The police have drained our communities of the resources we desperately need to fund schools, infrastructure, and social services. Every dollar spent on equipment, training, or resources for the police goes towards terrorizing and brutalizing our communities, at the expense of clean water, schooling for our children, services for the homeless, community mental health services, and all other desperately needed resources for our communities.

We urge you to adopt defunding and demilitarizing the police as a primary point in your platform on criminal justice, and we demand that you introduce further legislation that does exactly that. We appreciate your support of the protests, but it is time for decisive action. Trainings are not the place to start, nor should they be a step along the way. We need to significantly reduce the police presence in our communities and that starts with removing their ability to cause harm.

Solidarity Forever,

The Electoral Committee of Huron Valley DSA


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