For the last few months, protesters across the country have been calling for defunding the police after the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor — the last straws in the fight against police brutality.
Black Lives Matter and anti-police-brutality activists have been demanding change. One change is to defund systemic racism at its source. Some cities have already taken those steps.
So far, at least 11 cities nationwide have cut police budgets and manpower and diverted some of those funds to social programs, the Detroit News reported.
But a new poll finds that the majority of respondents don’t actually want to defund the police.
New York City is poised to cut $1 billion from the police department, The New York Times reported.
Some Black city council members are fighting against the defunding. During a recent debate, Black and Latino council members who represent poor and middle-class Black communities and communities of color urged a measured approach to slashing the police budget. White progressives and some Latino council members from gentrifying and racially mixed neighborhoods and two Black council members called for major cuts and reforms.
During the debate, NYC Council majority leader Laurie Cumbo, a Black councilwoman from Brooklyn, compared calls to defund the police to “colonization” pushed by white progressives. Robert Cornegy Jr., a Black councilman also from Brooklyn, called the movement “political gentrification.”
The Council went on to pass by a 32-to-17 vote an $88.2 billion budget that included the reduction in police funding.
“But the $1 billion cut was mostly cosmetic, moving responsibilities from the Police Department to other agencies,” The New York Times reported. “The size of the police force will barely change. Nearly all the no votes were cast by white conservatives opposed to any reductions or white and Latino council members who wanted deeper cuts.”
NYC is not the only place debating defunding. Newark, New Jersey Mayor Ras Baraka called defunding the police a “bourgeois liberal” solution for addressing systemic racism.
The sentiment seems to reflect that of the general public.
Forty-two percent of American polled across the country say that spending on their local police should stay about the same as it currently is, and 31 percent say that spending should be increased, according to a new Pew poll.
Just a quarter of Americans polled say spending on policing in their community should be decreased, and only about half of those say it should be decreased a lot.
Most Americans polled also seem to have a good view of the police. Almost 60 percent say police around the country do an excellent or good job of protecting people from crime, down just slightly from 62 percent in 2016, Fortune reported.
Detroit is also divided on calls to defund the police. Detroit Mayor Pro Tem Mary Sheffield said she’d consider moving a portion of the police department’s $330 million budget, or the budgets of other city agencies, into “programs that address the root causes of crime,” Detroit News reported.
Over in Seattle, Police Chief Carmen Best announced her retirement after the city council voted to cut about $3 million from the police department and reduce it by up to 100 officers, The Washington Post reported.
Best stunned many people with her sudden announcement. The Seattle City Council voted to defund her department by 14 percent, Komo News reported.
Both Democrat and Republican presidential candidates have come out against defunding the police. Former Vice President Joe Biden told CBS News that he doesn’t support defunding the police but believes in police reform.
President Donald Trump has referred to himself as the defender of “law and order.” His campaign ads try to invoke fear with fictitious 911 callers unable to reach the police due to defunding.
Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 73: Jamarlin Martin Jamarlin makes the case for why this is a multi-factor rebellion vs. just protests about George Floyd. He discusses the Democratic Party’s sneaky relationship with the police in cities and states under Dem control, and why Joe Biden is a cop and the Steve Jobs of mass incarceration.
“You have reached the 9-1-1 police emergency line. Due to defunding of the police department, we’re sorry, but no one is here to take your call. If you’re calling to report a rape, please press 1. To report a murder, press 2. To report a home invasion, press 3,” the ad begins.
The Pew poll surveyed 4,708 U.S. adults online in June 2020 and then weighted the results to be representative of the U.S. adult population by gender, race, ethnicity, partisan affiliation, education, and other categories.
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