Today we continue to struggle in Aura Rosser’s memory. Aura was a beautiful artist who loved to cook. She had three children and was struggling with mental health.
Instead of helping her, Ann Arbor Police officer David Ried fired the shots that killed her on the night of November 10, 2014. What’s happened since then?
Officer Ried is still on the AAPD payroll and was promoted to the rank of Sergeant
AAPD Police Chief John Seto was hired as director of UM housing security
AAPD’s “reforms” have meant increasing its budget by over $4 million
But reform does not work. A clear example is Minneapolis, where a police department that had been praised as a model for its procedural reforms brutally murdered George Floyd—and kicked off the biggest protest movement in U.S. history.
The same is true here in Ann Arbor. In spite of all the money they’ve spent on new training and equipment since 2014, AAPD has continued to subject people of color, and especially Black folks, to harassment, intimidation, force, and arrest. In 2017, for example, AAPD violently arrested 16-year-old Ciaeem Slaton, who was waiting for the bus downtown. AAPD (as well as their UM counterparts) regularly shut down parties at Black and Latino fraternities and issue citations to organizers. And these are only the most visible examples.
The police can’t be reformed, and they certainly can’t be reformed by giving them more money and resources. The only way to limit police violence is to limit the reach of policing by channeling money away from the police and toward social services and community support.
ABOLITION NOW means we want more resources to keep our communities safe. That means forging a world where Aura would be able to paint, to cook, to love, and to live.
For more, check out Abolitionist Lab.