Wednesday, September 28, 2022

What Cities Have Defunded Police

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Refund The Police: Cities Are Reversing Cuts To Police Budgets

This city is pushing to defund police despite a surging homicide rate

One year after many U.S. cities gave in to dramatic proposals to slash police department budgets, some are having second thoughts and quietly seeking to boost funding for cops as violent crime soars.

The Democratic mayors of New York City, Baltimore and Los Angeles are among those now backpedaling on their vows to defund the police as they face fury from residents over spiraling crime rates.

Out of the nation’s 20 largest police departments, city leaders have already submitted next year’s budget proposals for 12, and nine of those request funding increases ranging from 1 to 6 percent, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The sea change comes a year after the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer spurred calls to defund and even abolish police departments, with many city leaders buckling to meet the demands.

Meanwhile, the murder rate soared an average of 30 percent across 34 major cities last year, and has continued to increase dramatically this year in many places.

In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio reversed course and promised $92 million for a new precinct after scrapping the project last summer as he vowed to slash the NYPD budget by $1 billion.

Last month, de Blasio admitted that the initial funding cuts were his response to the ‘environment at that moment,’ saying the city now had more funds available due to federal stimulus.

First Up: The Cover Got A Makeover It Might Seem Subtle At First Glance But Look Closely

Images via Alan Taylor/Flickr, used with permission.

The original has a woman in the kitchen, while the updated cover has both a man and a woman in the kitchen. Also: The “policeman” bear changed to a woman, and the label changed to “police officer.” The word “mailman” became “letter carrier,” and a female farmer was added. Oh, and we went from a cat-mom pushing the stroller to cat-dad! Progress!

Policing Doesnt Keep Us Safe

Despite the billions of dollars spent every year on policing, more than 15,000 people were killed by gun violence in 2019 alonedisproportionately young people of color. If policing and imprisonment stopped violence, the U.S. would be the most peaceful country in the world. But decades of evidence show us this is not the case.

If we believe in everyones right to live in safety and peace, we need to dismantle institutions that were never intended to get us there and free up resources for solutions that are actually designed to create healthy, safe, sustainable communities.

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Does Defund The Police Mean Less Police

While while some organizations are indeed calling for the abolishment or dismantling of police altogether, defunding the police simply means reducing police department budgets and redistributing those funds towards essential social services that are often underfunded, such as housing, education, employment, mental

How Is Crime In Minneapolis

Defund the police, defund the military

The city recorded 5,422 violent crime incidents, including homicides, rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults, according to a preliminary year-end report by Minneapolis police. The city averaged 4,496 such crimes over the previous five years. Property crime increased by 10%, the Star Tribune reported.

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Policing Diverts Billions Of Dollars From Schools Health Care And Other Vital Programs That Need More Funding To Strengthen Our Communities And Support Shared Well

U.S. cities collectively spend $100 billion a year on policing, while needed investments in education, health care, housing, and other critical programs go unfulfilled, particularly in poor communities and communities of color. New York City, for instance, spends more on policing than it does on the Departments of Health, Homeless Services, Housing Preservation and Development, and Youth and Community Development combined.

Our tax dollars must be reallocated from this system that regularly murders Black people with impunityand instead invested in programs that strengthen our communities.

Remember Those Beloved Richard Scarry Books From When You Were A Kid

Like a lot of people, I grew up reading them. And now, I read them to my kids.

The best!

If that doesn’t ring a bell, perhaps this character from the “Busytown” series will. Classic!

Image via

Scarry was an incredibly prolific children’s author and illustrator. He created over 250 books during his career. His books were loved across the world over 100 million were sold in many languages.

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Atlanta Councilman Who Voted To Defund Police Is Nearly Killed By Carjackers

At a ribbon-cutting in northwest Atlanta, four people hopped into councilman Antonio Brown’s car on Wednesday as he was getting out to speak to someone just before noon – and took off.

‘Several males entered his unlocked car and drove away with it,’ police stated. Brown was driving a Mercedes Coupe, which has a push-button ignition.

He said he held onto the car and was dragged for around a block before letting go.

The councilman told WSBTV that he was on hold with 911 for five minutes after the incident. Brown also claims it took 45 minutes for police to arrive because it was assigned as a low-priority dispatch.

Brown is running for mayor of Atlanta on a platform of ‘reimagining public safety’ and has previously expressed support for the ‘Defund the Police’ movement.

‘New Yorkers don’t feel safe and they don’t feel safe because the crime rate is up. It’s not that they are being neurotic or overly sensitive – they are right,’ he said.

Cuomo said the crime wave threatened to derail the city’s recovery from the pandemic, noting: ‘Everything we just talked about, with the economy coming back, you know what the first step is? People have to feel safe.’

In a swipe at his political nemesis de Blasio, the governor said that defunding the police was not the correct solution.

‘Until you restore the trust and make the reforms necessary, we’re going to have this problem — defund the police is not the answer. It basically means abolish the police,’ he said.

A Paradigm Shift: $870m Cut From Police

Police funding rise to combat US crime

For years, local advocacy groups have packed city hall meetings, demanding jobs not jails, care not cops and books not bars urging officials to stop expanding budgets for police and jails. They have argued that cities should instead prioritize the programs that have been defunded over the years that would address root causes of crime and poverty, like education, healthcare and homeless services.

Local lawmakers largely ignored activists pleas, and police spending has tripled over the last 40 years, helping to make the US a world leader in incarceration and police killings. Even as cities have faced financial shortfalls, local governments consistently spent an increasing on police .

The dynamics suddenly changed last summer during massive Black Lives Matter demonstrations after video emerged of a Minneapolis officer pressing his knee on George Floyds neck for almost nine minutes.

Everyone on the street provided a new window into understanding and defining the problem of police brutality, said Nikki Jones, a professor of African American studies at the University of California, Berkeley, who described a paradigm shift in conservations about police and systemic racism.

New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Baltimore and a dozen other cities have all also reduced police spending. And some of these cities are now demonstrating the impacts of their new budgets.

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Cities Across The Us Are Restoring Police Budgets After Temporary Defunding

Per a New York Times report, increased crime rates and public pressure from pro-police political groups have led to funding reversals for law enforcement departments nationwide

Local leaders in cities across America are ramping up previously reduced funding allocations for law enforcement departments as crime rates have risen and pressure from the public has seemingly decreased, the New York Times reported.

Following the murder of George Floyd and the killing of Breonna Taylor and others at the hands of law enforcement officers in 2020, a tidal wave of worldwide protests affiliated with the Black Lives Matter Movement ensued, promoting, among other things, meaningful police accountability and reform action.

Many advocates of the movement have demanded that police funding be reduced in order to commit more money towards community care networks that could mitigate the systemic factors that push many towards crime in the first place. Several U.S. cities complied at least temporarily.

Now, per the Times, departments whose budgets were slashed are being given the money back. The New York Police Department, for example, was allocated an additional $200 million following a budget passed in June, the Los Angeles Police Department was given a 3% funding boost in April, and the Burlington Police Department in Vermont was allocated nearly $1 million.

What Are The Duties Of A City Councilman

Under the MGA , councillors have the duty to:

  • consider the welfare and interests of the municipality as a whole and, to bring to councils attention anything that would promote the welfare or interests of the municipality.
  • participate generally in developing and evaluating the policies and programs of the municipality.

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Why Defunding The Police Is Not The Answer

In Minneapolis, where the death of George Floyd sparked Black Lives Matter protests last summer, things got so bad that the city council had to authorize $500,000 in funding to deal with a crime spree that followed the citys original vote to defund the police.

I have 74 people who are no longer alive in this city because theyve been killed, Police Chief Medaria Arradondo told Fox 9 News. Ive got almost 500 people whove been shot and wounded in this city. We can talk about re-imagining policing. Im talking about what is necessary today, in this city, and we need extra resources.

New York City also saw an increase in violent crime following the citys decision to remove $1 billion from its police budget. The cuts meant that an officer training event last July had to be canceled at a time when staffing needs were greater than ever due to COVID-19.

New York Police Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch blasted the citys decision and told ABC7 News how much damage it did in a short amount of time.

Shootings more than doubled again last week, Lynch said Even right now, the NYPD doesnt have enough manpower to shift cops to one neighborhood without making another neighborhood less safe. We will say it again: the Mayor and the City Council have surrendered the city to lawlessness. Things wont improve until New Yorkers hold them responsible.

Image Credit: Photo by Aj Colores on Unsplash

Professor And Police Commissioner Debate ‘defund The Police’

Seattle City Council moving to defund

In other words, calls for increases in police budgets are far from a death knell for campaigns to find more progressive and less aggressive modes of law enforcement.

That all being said, the prospects of defund the police should not only be considered on a policy level but also on a political one. And the past year shows that this is where defund the police advocates have some serious thinking to do. The slogan itself only focuses on the divestment side of things, and it is so acutely vulnerable to bad faith messaging from the right wherein Republicans and other conservatives suggest that the movement is basically calling for lawlessness that its become a source of constant anxiety for Democrats, particularly as the midterm elections approach as murder rates increase.

Rather than trying to explain the true meaning of defund the police or engage in conversation with it, nervous Democrats in Washington have tried to outflank the GOP by trying to promote themselves as more faithful champions of funding the police and, in a long shot messaging maneuver thats too cute by half, insist that Republicans are the ones trying to defund the police .

If defund the police is not even an accurate summary of the movements goals, then isnt it doing itself a disservice?

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Unpacking The Cause Of The Crime Spike

Lack of policing

  • Replacing police with unarmed civilians such as social workers.
  • Reducing or reallocating funds affects police activity. The Law Enforcement legal Defense Fund found that police activity such as arrests, stops, and searches declined by 48 percent since last June. In New York, for example, there were 40,000 fewer arrests made by July 2020. Consequently, during , murder was up 30 percent burglaries were up 118 percent. thefts were up 51 percent.
  • Police voluntarily leaving the force. In 2020, the NYPD saw a 75 percent increase in quitting or retirement. After George Floyds death in May 2020, close to 200 officers had left the Minneapolis police force by May 2021.
  • Lowered morale and hesitancy to police

  • The continuous narrative is that it is racist to enforce laws, particularly lower-level offenses.
  • Hostile rhetoric against police.
  • A lack of trust between police and prosecutors. Police go through the process of arresting criminals for them to be released and shortly re-offend.
  • Change in societal standards

  • The mass media continually downplayed and politicized the violence that took place during the summer of 2021. This sent a message of tolerance for violence, justification of vandalism, and explicit messages that law and order were not a societal priority.
  • Portland Among Us Cities Adding Funds Back Into Police Departments

    PORTLAND, Ore. Night after night, hundreds of people marched the streets of Oregons largest city, demanding racial justice after the murder of George Floyd by a white officer.

    Among the rallying cries were defund the police a call for elected officials to reallocate some law enforcement funding elsewhere. In June 2020, the Portland City Council and the mayor answered by cutting millions from the police budget.

    Now, a year and a half later, officials partially restored the cut funds. On Wednesday, the Portland City Council unanimously passed a fall budget bump that included increasing the current $230 million police budget by an additional $5.2 million. The added police spending is occurring amid a year of a record number of homicides, the citys greatest police staffing shortage in decades and reform recommendations made by the U.S. Department of Justice.

    Many Portlanders no longer feel safe, Mayor Ted Wheeler said. And it is our duty, as leaders of this city, to take action and deliver better results within our crisis response system.

    In recent mayoral elections, some winning candidates have pledged to bolster public safety budgets. In Minneapolis, where Floyd was killed, voters rejected a proposal to replace the police department with a new Department of Public Safety.

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    Defund The Police Explained

    According to Rashawn Ray, a sociologist and fellow at the Brookings Institution, Defund the police means reallocating or redirecting funding away from the police department to other government agencies funded by the local municipality.

    Ray is quick to point out that defunding the police does not mean abolishing the police, but any resources, financial or otherwise, mean fewer police officers on the streets to help keep our communities safe. In fact, CNN reports that Those seeking to disband police consider defunding an initial step toward creating an entirely different model of community-led public safety.

    So-called community-led public safety is not led by police and pushes police to the background or out of the picture entirely. Where does the money taken from the police go? The answer varies by city but generally falls into a few buckets.

    Those dollars can be used to fund schools, hospitals, housing and food in those communities, too all of the things we know increase safety, Phillip McHarris, a doctoral candidate in sociology at Yale University and lead research and policy associate at the Community Resource Hub for Safety and Accountability, told CNN.

    Schools, hospitals, and housing are great, but they do not keep violent criminals off the streets in the same way that police do. This simple fact has started to play out in cities across the United States.

    A Year After Defund Police Departments Get Their Money Back

    Several major cities, including San Diego, have defunded or considered defunding police departments

    The abrupt reversals have come in response to rising levels of crime, the exodus of officers and political pressures.

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    By J. David Goodman

    DALLAS The demonstrators came at night, chanting and blowing whistles outside the home of Mayor Eric Johnson, protesting in occasionally personal terms his staunch refusal to cut funding to the Dallas Police Department.

    Defund! Reclaim! Reinvest! about two dozen people . A few weeks later, the police chief resigned over her handling of large-scale protests. Then the City Council voted to cut how much money the department could use on overtime and hiring new officers.

    That was last year.

    This year has been very different.

    In cities across America, police departments are getting their money back. From New York to Los Angeles, departments that saw their funding targeted amid nationwide protests over the killing of George Floyd last year have watched as local leaders voted for increases in police spending, with an additional $200 million allocated to the New York Police Department and a 3 percent boost given to the Los Angeles force.

    Dallas stands out for the amount of investment that the local government is putting into the department, said Laura Cooper, the executive director of the Major Cities Chiefs Association.

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