UCLA, attended by murdered grad student Brianna Kupfer, promoted 'defund the police' research

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The California university attended by murdered graduate student Brianna Kupfer published research promoting similar ideas as those held by “defund the police” advocates.

The University of California, Los Angeles School of Law published the research on its official website exploring “what happens after we defund the police?” Published in June 2020, it suggests incarceration for fewer crimes, a law enforcement policy adopted by several major U.S. cities, including Los Angeles, that has resulted in record violent crime, such as the murder of Brianna Kupfer.

The research explores “alternatives to law enforcement,” stating that law enforcement is “often indifferent to human life.” One alternative to law enforcement offered by the authors is that many conflicts merit “no response” from law enforcement officials, asking people to “self-reflect” on why they call for help from law enforcement or other individuals.

Royce Hall on the campus of UCLA. Royce Hall is one of four original buildings on UCLA’s Westwood campus.

“Currently, people often function as surveillance agents for police unnecessarily or harmfully. There are countless examples of people intervening, calling 911, pursuing, and even murdering people, primarily people of color, for doing absolutely nothing,” the guide states.

Another alternative to law enforcement suggested by the authors is “prevention,” suggesting that if resources are equitably distributed, crime would decrease.

For example, the authors suggest that if “all people who wanted housing were housed,” and if people had free access to mental health or substance abuse treatment, there would be a “dramatic” decrease in the number of 911 calls related to those issues.

Violence prevention education, supervised injection sites, and emergency behavioral health programs are also considered ways to prevent law enforcement from getting involved in incidents.

“Intervention” is also listed as an alternative to law enforcement, with the authors citing that “community alternatives to 911” could be a way to address a crisis without police intervention.

The University of California, Los Angeles campus

“Community alternatives to 911 (CAT 911) builds the skills, peer support and resources needed to maintain cop-free zones across Southern California by providing trainings to build skills in response to addiction, overdose, sexual assault, domestic violence, emergency medal care, inter-neighborhood conflict, mental health intervention, cop watch, and police accountability,” the guide states.

The authors also state that the current legal system operates in a “very narrow way of understanding the impacts of harm and violence in communities,” and “transformative justice” should be considered.

“Transformative justice is an alternative political framework and practice that ‘seeks to respond to violence without creating more violence and/or engaging in harm reduction to lessen the violence,’”the guide states. “Creating an alternative for the instances of harm and violence is important for envisioning a future without reliance on the penal system.”

The authors state that transformative justice is practiced when the person who caused harm to an individual “acknowledge the harm they caused, apologize for it, and clearly lay out what they will do to ensure this harm does not happen again.”

“People practicing transformative justice around the country are engaging in processes that focus on healing, accountability, and the safety of all involved. These are time intensive processes that require accountability in a way that eliminates the need for punishment. Instead the person who caused harm is asked to acknowledge the harm they caused, apologize for it, and clearly lay out what they will do to ensure this harm does not happen again. The needs of the person harmed are centered as the process moves towards healing for everyone,” the guide states.

The guide has a “food for thought” section addressing what an alternative to police would look like in murder or sex offenses.

“When people call the police, it is generally after something has happened. The existence of police does not necessarily prevent crime, nor does their intervention often create resolutions that encourage true accountability, make victims/survivors whole, or heal communities,” the authors respond. “If the government shifts its focus and invests in prevention strategies like housing, education, and healthcare, it is reasonable to expect that acts of violence would decrease.”

A spokesperson for the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law told Fox News Digital that individual research produced by scholars does not necessarily reflect the views of the university.

A Los Angeles Police officer badge

“These reports represent the views of their authors, who are faculty, fellows, and students affiliated with the UCLA School of Law Criminal Justice Program. We unambiguously support the academic freedom of our scholars to pursue important work in their fields. As is the case more generally with the scholarship produced by those connected to UCLA Law, individual research products do not necessarily reflect the position of the law school,” the spokesperson said.

UCLA has not issued a public response to the killing of its former student. The school did not respond to multiple requests for comment from Fox News on that topic.

On Jan. 13, Kupfer, 24, a University of California, Los Angeles graduate student, was killed while working at her job at an upscale furniture store in the city.

The man who allegedly killed Kupfer, Shawn Laval Smith, had an active warrant for assaulting a police officer, according to documents obtained by Fox News Digital. 

Fox News’ Michael Ruiz and Rebecca Rosenberg contributed to this report

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