I grew up around police officers. My dad worked in law enforcement and taught me from a young age that if I do something wrong there is always a consequence. As a kid my dad would handcuff me to my sibling if we got into a fight until we could work it out.
In today’s tumultuous climate people are dying because they couldn’t “work things out” with the police. I wanted to showcase the skills I learned from my journalism emphasis by writing a story that is relevant, timely, and newsworthy. I reached out to Officers and police precincts across the Nation. My interview questions focused on the current matter of police defunding. What does it mean to “defund the police”? Where do these funds go? What would be a better alternate solution to the ongoing societal crisis?
Seattle Washington, Washington D.C., and Los Angeles are three of 25 major cities that have already been defunded. I received responses to interview questions from Officer Cho in the Los Angeles Police Department and retired Officer Curtis from the District of Columbia Police Department.
I compiled these interviews into a well-researched opinion based article on what is means for our nation, to defund the police. Getting pictures that fit with my article was more of a chore than expected. Due to local COVID-19 regulations still in place in Colorado where I live, I didn’t have access to police profile pictures, or ride along vehicle photography. I had to think outside the box to give images to my story.
I was met with suspicion and hesitation from the officers that I interacted with. They have been under fire from the nation they swore to serve and protect. Finding officers willing to talk was not as simple as I supposed but hearing there side of the story gave my article more depth and perspective.
I came into this project with my mind set and my opinion biased. After hours or research, data collecting, and interviewing I began to see a shift in my preconceived opinion. My hope is that this project doesn’t just inform you, but inspires you to open your mind and understand what it means to have a Nation Defunded.