Futures of Policing (Preview)

By Default or By Design


In the future, police could use remote technology to peacefully disarm suspects without ever firing a shot. Or perhaps police will use lasers to slice off the legs of even nonviolent offenders. In the future, police forces may expand, but their demographics could reflect the multiculturality of a minority-white America. Or maybe drones will replace police altogether. If they don’t, community gardens potentially will.

Illustration by Ariel Sinha

By Jamie McGhee

There are as many ways to imagine the future of American policing as there are people living in the country. Some see the United States hurtling toward an unavoidable dystopian crimescape, while others see police systems ripe for abolition. The 2020 protests sparked by George Floyd’s death have proven the criticality of this discussion, as organizers all over the country demand a nationwide interrogation of the police system. Clearly, policing needs to be redesigned. But what will that look like?

To find out, I sat down with organizer DeRay Mckesson of Campaign Zero and storyteller- poet Niki Franco of the UCLA Luskin Institute on Inequality and Democracy. I also analyzed the ideas of novelist Sophia Stewart, law professor Bennett Capers, and cartoonist Ezra Clayton Daniels….









From Design Museum Magazine Issue 018