Michael Javen Fortner, who will soon join the faculty of the Claremont McKenna Department of Government, writes at The Boston Globe:

Whether the Chauvin verdict augurs well for Black lives depends on the debate we decide to have over criminal justice reform. Increasing accountability and transparency in policing is nothing to scoff at. Furthermore, the American Jobs Plan makes substantial investments in community-based violence intervention programs. We may not be able to end policing as we know it, but we can make it safer while substantially expanding community-based services.


Soaring crime rates and fixating on reformers’ most unpopular positions may prematurely end this age of reform. If forced to choose between law and order and abolition of the police, most people, including many Black people, especially in a moment of escalating violence, will choose law and order. It’s time for reformers to take advantage of the current liberal consensus and make its promise a reality before it’s too late