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Abolish the polish and put money to what is necessary for improvement within communities

by Mayumi, 01 July, 2020

We have to face the truth that the police has never made citizens feel safe. There are numerous stories about police brutality, and cops' tendencies to abuse their power within the city. I've had a close friend harassed by a group of police officers. He was grabbed and pushed against a wall, punched to the point his mouth bled, due to profiling and stereotyping. He was 17 years old.. and he was just walking home, in the streets of a supposedly "bad" neighbourhood. A neighbourhood which has a drug problem, and a big population of impoverished and marginalized groups.

Why are these people being criminalized? And why are the main targets of the police often people of colour, people who are poor, people with addictions, or people who have mental illness?

Why do we have communities in Ottawa that are known to be "dangerous" areas, because of how many police cars roam the place or just based off how many crimes happen there in a day? Look at downtown Ottawa. Look at Vanier. Why do we even think of these places as dangerous? All it takes to fix issues within the community, especially those connected to crime, is by giving more resources and support to its citizens who need it.

We don't want a $365 million budget for the Ottawa police when everything else is lacking in support or a plan. Focus on funding rehabilitation for those with drug addictions, as well as health care, especially for mental health. Make therapy and rehab accessible and affordable for everyone; these support systems should be FREE. This should be a part of OHIP.

Give more funds to education, and we mean proper, unbiased education. Teach children about the corruptness of the justice system and how it connects to racism.

We should be aware of how our society's system affects the lives of our people, and this should be taught.

Teach about the discrimination indigenous people face in the country, not just about residential schools and the deep rooted racism Canada was built on, but also the fact that up to this day, they are not given proper support by the government after causing such traumatic experiences for them. There's high rates of Aboriginal people in prison, and their communities have had drug problems, and no proper help at all for rehabilitation. This also goes for people of colour, specifically black people who are constantly wronged by the justice system.

Focus on transportation, providing proper and affordable housing for citizens, because there's no doubt that Ottawa has a homelessness problem.

There are multiple factors as to why people may result to crime, and having the police handle these crimes often lead to unjust incarceration, and sometimes even the murder of innocent citizens who simply needed help.

Please, please, please, focus on what we as citizens actually need. Fund resources that are necessary, rather than spending all these millions on the police. Please actually listen to us and do something about it.

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