As mentioned on my celeb TRANSPARENT of the month page where I featured Kendrick Sampson, I talked about how he initiated my attention to ‘defunding the police’ after the outrage from the death of George Floyd and his brutal attack by police from a peaceful protest that quickly went violent.
Since this attention, the city of Minneapolis, where George Floyd was murdered, vowed to dismantle their police and other major cities are now following suit in either taking the same action or reallocating their police budget within their respective cities. As avid as the mayor of Minneapolis, Jacob Frey, was on demanding the arrest of all officer involved in the Floyd murder, he’s against defunding despite the council taking the necessary steps to dismantle the police. He’s not the only one speaking out against it. Presidential candidate, former VP Joe Biden is also against dismantling the police. And Trump, well he is all about ‘law & order‘, so we know his stance. This issue will be very important as we move on in the upcoming presidential election amongst other disbarring issues that need to be addressed.
So what are the pros and cons of Defunding the police? Is it worth it?
Even in the most liberal cities, the idea of defunding the police brings skepticism.
According to Politico & The Brookings Institution, “Defunding the police” means reallocating or redirecting funding away from the police department to other government agencies funded by the local municipality. That’s it. It’s that simple. Defund does not mean abolish policing. Many people think that defunding the police means total removal of police, and this is an idea that easily gets misconstrued.
There are pros to defunding. Some of the results of defunding the police are:
- Reduction of crime
- Education equity
- Establishment of a work infrastructure
It is important to acknowledge that although the idea of defunding is starting to resonate with many, many of the cities with the highest number of law enforcement per capita on the payroll are urban areas with progressive mayors and Democratic majorities on the city council. We highly praised Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington, DC for painting a Black Lives Matter mural leading to the White House, while also renaming L’Enfant Plaza to Black Lives Matter Plaza in front of the White House. However, Mayor Bowser proposed a 3.3 percent increase in police spending for the FY2021 budget, and she has not rescinded on her position.
Where can reallocated funds go?
There are various areas that the funds can be used instead of the police:
Housing & Community Development
Recreation & Parks
Arts & Culture
What would a world with defunded police look like?
In recent weeks, some major cities have already reallocated millions of dollars towards other initiatives, such as Los Angeles ($100 million to minority communities), San Francisco, Baltimore ($22 million to recreation centers, trauma centers and forgivable loans for Black-owned businesses), Prince Georges County, Maryland ($20 million and removal of officers from schools), and Minneapolis. Mayor DeBlasio of New York pledged to cut police department funding and Atlanta mayor, Keisha Lance Bottoms signed an order this past week for reform in reallocating public safety funds.
CNN, has an excellent article on what it would be like in 3 scenarios without police reform: a traffic stop, a domestic violence call, and a school shooting. It gives a good perspective on how things would be handled in a world with limited policing. You can find the full article here.
What are your thoughts? Is defunding the police worth it?