“Alternatives to public safety are gaining momentum, but activists worry many of these ‘alternatives’ still involve police and don’t address root causes.“
This piece by the Boston Globe tells the story of the author’s encounter with the police during and five of them arrested a young black man outside of her home.
“I thought something’s really wrong here because it’s not like there’s some kind of obvious crime going on and he’s crying,” says Kung, 42, an endocrinologist. “And why are there so many police?”
“The officer’s response, and the fact that law enforcement canceled ambulance calls to the scene that night, left a bad taste, says Kung, who filed a complaint with the police department. She later channeled her angst into working with a policing alternative called Cambridge HEART (Holistic Emergency Alternative Response Team), a community-led, proactive public safety program that aims to address the immediate needs of people in conflict or crisis.
Kung believes mutual aid organizations like HEART could be a way to make sure people get medical care or social services without police getting in the way or harming them further.”
Click here to read the full article, including examples of other efforts like it across the country.