Skip to main content
PRINT EDITION

“Send Freedom House!”: A Study in Police Abolition

By October 1, 2021July 22nd, 2022No Comments

Abstract: Sparked by the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, the 2020 uprisings accelerated a momentum of abolitionist organizing that demands the defunding and dismantling of policing infrastructures. Although a growing body of legal scholarship recognizes abolitionist frameworks when examining conventional proposals for reform, critics mistakenly continue to disregard police abolition as an unrealistic solution. This Essay helps dispel this myth of “impracticality” and illustrates the pragmatism of abolition by identifying a community-driven effort that achieved a meaningful reduction in policing we now take for granted. I detail the history of the Freedom House Ambulance Service, a Black civilian paramedic service in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, that was created in the late 1960s to confront the racialized violence and neglect inflicted by police ambulance drivers. This Essay outlines the now abolished practice of ambulance policing, explores the city’s response to Freedom House’s revolutionary program, and analyzes current efforts of police reform through this historical lens.

Download the Full Article

Other Articles from WLR Print Edition

October 1, 2022 in PRINT EDITION

Protection for Indian Sacred Sites

PROTECTION FOR INDIAN SACRED SITES The Honorable William A. Fletcher U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit 34TH ANNUAL INDIAN LAW SYMPOSIUM RESTATEMENT OF THE LAW OF AMERICAN INDIANS…
Read More
October 1, 2022 in PRINT EDITION

Reflections on the Restatement of the Law of American Indians

34TH ANNUAL INDIAN LAW SYMPOSIUM RESTATEMENT OF THE LAW OF AMERICAN INDIANS APRIL 21, 2022 INTRODUCTION I’ve been asked to talk about and give some reflections about the Restatement project.…
Read More
October 1, 2022 in PRINT EDITION

Off-Reservation Treaty Hunting Rights, the Restatement, and the Stevens Treaties

Abstract: The underdevelopment of the law of off-reservation treaty hunting and gathering poses challenges for treatises like the groundbreaking Restatement of the Law of American Indians (“Restatement”). With particular attention…
Read More