Care Not Cops: Race, Mental Health & Policing

Jodi E. Scofield (Social Welfare) in partnership with Ktown for All

The unhoused BIPOC community members in Los Angeles deserve to live without the fear of state-sanctioned terrorism and violence. Sweeps, “quality of life” laws, and zoning ordinances – all non-violent offenses – have led to a startling increase of state-sanctioned brutality, cyclical caging, delimited social possibility, and in 27% of cases, death at the hands of law enforcement officials. Ktown for All (KFA), a grassroots organization centered in the uplift of unhoused community members and rooted in abolition, recognizes the dangers perpetrated by law enforcement in unhoused, disproportionately Black and Brown, communities in Los Angeles. This persistent assault on Black unhoused residents’ mental and physical wellbeing induces and exacerbates psychological distress and increases the need for community-based Rapid Response Networks to provide alternatives to calling the police. I partnered with KFA and CAT-911 organizers to create a series of trauma-informed, BIPOC centered workshops, teach-ins and info guides to be implemented in outreach training. These workshops provide a framework for trauma-informed, BIPOC centered community alternatives to policing through engagement in transformative justice, informed consent, empowerment, and inclusion.