Désirée Weber featured on USA Today panel

Political science professor discusses the future of policing

June 10, 2021   /  
Desiree Weber, assistant professor of political science
Désirée Weber, assistant professor of political science

Désirée Weber, assistant professor of political science at The College of Wooster, was a featured panelist for a 90-minute Zoom chat about policing held on May 13. The discussion was an extension of USA Today’s Justice in My Town spring project, “The Future of Policing,” which included interviews from “100 people about how they envisioned a more just, more effective approach” to policing, particular for limited income communities of color. One of four panelists, Weber posed the bigger questions that must be answered when evaluating the role of police. “Who are the populations or what are the interests being served by the police? What do they protect and what tactics and tools are appropriate for those ends?” Weber asked. “These are some of the things we’ve been talking about quite a bit in my community.”  

Weber, who has helped organize the daily racial justice protests in the City of Wooster, also discussed the role of the media and how they portray police violence. “One of the concepts we often think about is objectivity and a lot of the time objectivity ends in justifying the current system,” she said. “It comes down to questions of power and framing because one side holds institutional power. Sensitivity to that in cases of police violence will impact the community.” Imagining what a new police system would look like, Weber discussed three main points: questioning and challenging the status quo, reassessing priorities, and diverting funding to the root problems. “It’s difficult to imagine a system that is different than the one we have because we’ve become so used to all the justifications for the current system,” she said. “But continuing the conversation communities have been having since George Floyd and digging to figure out the possibilities is a necessary first step.”