Slideshow: Death Of George Floyd Sparks Widespread Outcry
As law enforcement agencies and communities across the country look for new ways to engage, one Camden resident, Vedra Chandler, said she hopes residents, city leaders and officers realize police defunding or reorganizing is not one-size-fits-all.
“If there’s a model it’s not that everybody should adopt community policing, it’s that everybody should come up with something to do in their own community that they believe is going to make a difference in how their police force interacts with their citizens,” Chandler told ABC News.
Black Organizers Are Calling For Divestment From Policing And Investment In Human Needs Across The Country
As part of its platform, the Movement for Black Lives calls for the reallocation of federal, state, and local government funds from “policing and incarceration to long-term strategies for education, restorative justice services, and employment programs.
In Chicago, the #NoCopAcademy campaign galvanized thousands of community members and garnered the support of more than 100 community organizations in urging the city to shift funding for a new $95 million police academy to programs that benefit youth and communities.
Faced with budget shortfalls and urgent health care needsat least 13 cities have made cuts to their police budgets.
Body Cameras Trainings And Other So
In Minneapolis and other U.S. cities, body cameras and other reform measures were implemented as part of the Obama administrations multimillion-dollar response to the call for police accountabilityand have proven largely ineffective.
- Body cams are regularly shut off by police and do not result in less violent behaviorwhile increasing surveillance of those being policed.
- Trainings on implicit bias for police have shown no demonstrable effect. In fact in Chicago, it was found that officers accused of abuses were leading the training.
- Community policingthe idea that if police and community work together, there will be more trust in the policedoesnt work, either. The practice deputizes white and wealthy community members to surveille their neighbors, resulting in even more police actions based on racist attitudes and beliefs.
Meanwhile, police murders continue, with 1,002 people shot and killed by police already this year.
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Social Workers On The Force In Kentucky
It’s no surprise that big, liberal cities like Denver and San Francisco, where police-reform activism has hit a fevered pitch, are trying out such ideas. Perhaps less expected: Versions appearing in places like Alexandria, Kentucky, a conservative suburb of Cincinnati with 10,000 residents.
“In general, the idea that we don’t need armed police to respond to mental health crises is becoming uncontroversial across the country, even in places that are not hotbeds of liberalism,” says Alex Vitale, author of The End of Policing and a sociology professor at Brooklyn College in New York.
In 2016, the Alexandria Police Department became the first in the Bluegrass State to hire a staff social worker. Mike Ward, then the police chief, tells Newsweek he was at a training session about “community policing” that taught officers how to minister to a range of social problems only tangentially related to public safety. “I kept asking myself why we were doing that. I’m not a social worker. I’m a cop. I have been trained to react and protect,” he says. “Community policing in many ways has failed in that we have, for years, tried to make social workers out of police officers. It doesn’t work. We’re not wired that way.”
The result: A significant drop in repeat 911 calls and about 15 percent fewer people going to jail, Ward says. Now there are two staff social workers, whom Ward calls “the busiest people in the department.”
What Does Defunding Police Mean
Defund the police means reallocating or redirecting funding away from the police department to other government agencies funded by the local municipality. Simply put- defunding the police means budget cuts, fewer resources, and less ability to provide meaningful training opportunities due to lack of accessible funds.
Some are calling to defund police as a first step towards entirely dismantling whole police departments.
Simply put- this affects everyone. Police departments are already being affected with huge budget cuts and extra pressure to provide better training and reform with a fraction of the budgets that they need. New York City has already passed a motion to shift $1 billion from policing, and other major cities are following suit. The Minneapolis City Council has gone so far as to pass measures to completely dismantle its police force and replace it with a department of community safety and violence prevention. What does that mean? No one knows at the moment.
These moves will affect every citizen- although this will be especially prominent in big cities that already have high crime rates and lack of support for police officers. We dont yet know the full extent of defunding police- but we DO know that it will cause even more problems in the long term.
Dont defund- redirect funding to training.
Need to be educated on non-lethal equipment , etc.
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These Us Cities Defunded Police: ‘we’re Transferring Money To The Community’
More than 20 major cities have reduced police budgets in some form, and activists are fighting to ensure that is only the start
After defund the police became the rallying cry of protests last summer, Democratic leaders spent months criticizing the slogan and worrying about its impact on elections. While party infighting was dominating headlines, local activists were campaigning to make the catchphrase a reality in cities across the US.
Since the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor prompted unprecedented uprisings, some racial justice groups have successfully pressured municipal lawmakers to cut police funds and reinvest the money in services. And with reformed 2021 budgets coming into effect, cities are slowly beginning to redistribute law enforcement money to housing, mental health programs, food access and other programs.
We are showing the country how reinvestments from the police budget can actually make many peoples lives so much better and safer, said Gregorio Casar, a councilmember in Austin, Texas, who helped pass a major cut to the citys law enforcement budget and is now reallocating those dollars to housing programs. This will build momentum for changes to police budgets across the country.
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On Tuesday, a proposal to fundamentally restructure the Minneapolis police department in the wake of George Floyd’s death in 2020 was soundly defeated, a setback that even many Democrats acknowledged could be laid at the feet of the “defund the police” movement that some within the party embraced last summer.
“Just months after leading an effort that would have defunded the police department, City Council members at Tuesday’s work session pushed chief Medaria Arradondo to tell them how the department is responding to the violence. “The number of reported violent crimes, like assaults, robberies and homicides are up compared to 2019, according to MPD crime data. More people have been killed in the city in the first nine months of 2020 than were slain in all of last year. Property crimes, like burglaries and auto thefts, are also up. Incidents of arson have increased 55 percent over the total at this point in 2019.”
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How Austin Is Spending Police Funds
Austin, Texas, has made some of the most dramatic changes in the country, directly cutting roughly$20m from the police department, and moving $80m from the agency by shifting certain services out of law enforcement. The city has gone from spending 40% of its $1.1bn general fund on police to now allocating about 26% to law enforcement.
Public health and public safety are at the heart of this, said Chris Harris, the criminal justice director at Texas Appleseed, a local not-for-profit. When we take policing away, we are actually filling that void with alternatives that we know are going to help.
The Austin police funds were reallocated to emergency medical services for Covid-19, community medics, mental health first responders, services for homeless people, substance abuse programs, food access, workforce development, abortion services, victim support, parks and more. The city council is using money saved from the police budget to buy two hotels to provide supportive housing for homeless residents.
For decades, Austin has spent so many dollars policing homelessness, jailing the homeless, and paying for emergency rooms and 911 calls instead of reinvesting those same dollars to finally start reducing homelessness, said Casar, the local councilmember. By adjusting the police budget even just a little bit, we are going to beable to house and help hundreds of people with these two hotels and I hope well be able to buy more.
Defund The Police Made Headlines What Does It Look Like Now
Watch the CBSN Originals documentary “What Does It Mean to Defund the Police?” in the video player above.
“Defund the police” became a rallying cry during Black Lives Matter protests across the U.S. and around the world in the summer of 2020, following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others at the hands of police. But in the months since, how has the debate developed, and what does it mean for American communities?
A new documentary from CBSN Originals features voices on different sides of the issue to help shed light on the movement and the future of policing.
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Days Without Cops In Brooklyn
Six months after the Floyd murder, with the “Defund” movement at the brief high-watermark of public support, the New York Police Department’s 73rd Precinct agreed to a radical idea: They withdrew all police for 10 hours a day on five chilly December days from a two-block area along Mother Gaston Boulevard in Brooklyn that is lined with one of the city’s most dense public housing projects and has long been a hotbed of violence.
In place of beat cops, who remained on alert nearby, teams of social workers and trained crisis mitigation volunteersmany ex-convicts and recovered addicts from the areakept watch and chatted up the residents while community groups set up tents providing information and consultations about education, job and housing opportunities, available mental health services and more.
The results were impressive: zero 911 calls with the singular exception of a bus driver who accidentally hit the wrong button and triggered an emergency call. The NYPD‘s 73rd Precinct, led by a deputy inspector who grew up in the area and supported the experiment, declared the effort a “huge success” in a tweet, suggesting this would “set a tone for the future as we embrace reform and reimagin public safety.”
“The point here is that there are emergency responses that we can look to that don’t take 10 years to implement,” Vitale says. “We can do it tomorrow. And it doesn’t have to be police.”
Polling Shows This Intraparty Fight Could Hurt Them In The Midterms
Its becoming increasingly clear that after the economy, crime is a hot-button issue driving voter sentiment in the lead-up to the November elections. But despite voter concern, Democrats continue to be divided over the controversial defund the police mantra that has grabbed headlines for the past two years, and its beginning to hurt their prospects for the fall elections.
The mixed messaging of party leaders versus the call to defund by progressives, especially extreme comments by members of the Squad, has become a costly roadblock to retaining the House as voters lose confidence in Democrats ability to address rising violence across the country.
Even a cursory look at statements by Democratic leaders and radical backbenchers opposed to increased funding of police explains the partys dilemma.
On Feb. 13, George Stephanopoulos raised the issue of Rep. Cori Bushs statements calling for defunding the police during an interview with Speaker Nancy Pelosi. With all due respect in the world to Cori Bush, she replied, that is not the position of the Democratic Party.
Pelosi then declared, Defund the police is dead.
Two weeks later, in his State of the Union address, President Biden called for increased funding for police: We should all agree: The answer is not to defund the police. The answer is to fund the police. Fund them. Fund them.
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Defunding The Police: Brief Overview Of History Models And The Demands Of The Movement
As activists across the nation call for defunding the police, many attorneys and non-attorneys alike find these calls unrealistic, naïve or even dangerous. Why not reform the police? We can ban abusive practices and hold officers responsible for misconduct but why abolish the police altogether? Who will keep us safe? We at Equal Justice Society honor the work that activists and community organizers are doing to answer these questions and create new models for community safety, justice and wellbeing. We offer this brief, non-exhaustive, research piece as an invitation for further reflection and conversation.
Where did the call to #DefundThePolice come from?
The current demands for defunding the police are rooted in a long history of visioning and organizing toward abolition of prisons, jails and policing in the United States. Led by Black abolition feminists such as Mariame Kaba, Angela Davis, and Ruth Wilson Gilmore, the movement for abolition offers a political vision and a framework for ending the prison industrial complex and creating lasting alternatives to punishment and imprisonment. It asks us to imagine a world where policing is obsolete, where no one is kept behind bars, and where all people have what they need to thrive.
What Does Defunding the Police Really Mean?
- Invest in social services and basic infrastructure critical to a thriving society:
- Provide safe, accessible housing to everyone.
- Make dignified employment available to everyone.
On June 28 New York Held Several Primaries For Statewide Office Including For Governor And Lieutenant Governor Some State Assembly Districts Also Had Primaries
- Kathy Hochul: With her win in the Democratic, the governor of New York took a crucial step toward winning a full term, fending off a pair of spirited challengers.
- Antonio Delgado: Ms. Hochuls second in command and running mate also scored a convincing victory over his nearest Democratic challenger, Ana María Archila.
- Lee Zeldin: The congressman from Long Island won the Republican primary for governor, advancing to what its expected to be a grueling general election.
- N.Y. State Assembly: Long-tenured incumbents were largely successful in fending off a slate of left-leaning insurgents in the Democratic primary.
The debate over the defund movement has roiled the Democratic Party over concerns that the slogan scared away moderate voters during the election in November. Some Democratic leaders blamed candidates embrace of the movement for the partys losses in the House.
President Barack Obama discouraged candidates from using the slogan arguing you have lost a big audience the minute you say it while leaders on the progressive left, like Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, defended it and blamed moderates for running weak campaigns.
Even in Minneapolis, where Mr. Floyd was killed by the police, efforts to essentially dismantle the citys police department collapsed. A far less ambitious move cutting the police budget by 4.5 percent was approved in December, disappointing defund supporters.
Not every problem requires an armed police officer, Mr. Yang said.
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Different Definitions Of Defund
“Defund the police means many things to many people,” said Arjun Singh Sethi, adjunct professor of law at Georgetown Law School.
At its most basic, “defund the police” means reallocating money from policing to other agencies funded by local municipalities. Advocates are split on the question of how far it should go: whether to reduce funding and reform some aspects of policing, or completely abolish police forces as we know them.
The movement has grown out of anger at police violence disproportionately targeting Black Americans, and a long history of unequal treatment in the criminal justice system. Statistics show that Black people in the U.S. are imprisoned at five times the rate of Whites, and are three times more likely to be killed by police.
“The Black community is over-policed for minor infractions that would draw virtually no attention anywhere else,” Gary Potter, a criminology professor at Eastern Kentucky University who has written about the history of policing in America, told CBS News last summer.
Police departments, and their budgets, are overseen by local governments there are about 800,000 police in the U.S. in varied roles from city street patrol officers to specialized units like school police. Dozens of police departments have spoken out against defunding, with some police chiefs saying that reducing their budgets would be reckless.
Others say it will take more to solve deeply rooted problems in the system.
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General rule for riots: They begin as protests that have an actual point but then descend into madness. Not only did the orgiastic masses do major long-term damage to the economic prospects of their own communities by rioting in cities across the country, not only did they shout angrily in tightly massed crowds as if they were actively trying to jump-start the coronavirus, but even the supposed thought leaders behind the riots were making radical and destructive policy proposals.
This was the week that the disturbing slogan defund the police caught on.
The lie that social spending has taken a hit interlocks with the media-created myth that its open season on unarmed black men in the US. Fifteen unarmed black people were killed by police last year, as opposed to 25 white people, according to the Washington Posts database, but black people are much more likely to have police encounters than white people. In an average year, about 49 people are killed by lightning in the US, according to the National Weather Service.
Kyle Smith is critic-at-large at National Review
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