The Nation Takes Steps to Defund Police

By N. Jamiyla Chisholm Jun 08, 2020

Following the killing of George Floyd and subsequent criminal charges for all four Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) officers, “Defund the police” became a rallying cry. It is now becoming a national action. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, (D-Calif.), along with members of the Congressional Black Caucus, announced the Justice in Policing Act on Monday, June 8 at a press conference.

“Never again should the world be subjected to witnessing what we saw on the streets in Minneapolis: the slow murder of an individual by a uniformed police officer,” Representative Karen Bass (D-Calif.) said at the conference.

If passed, the bill would ban chokeholds and no-knock warrants, which led to the fatal home shooting of Breonna Taylor on March 13 by Louisville, Kentucky police, NBC News confirmed in an article. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Sunday (June 7) he would shift funds away from police to youth initiatives. Also on Sunday, nine of the 13 members of the Minneapolis City Council pledged their support for "dismantling" the city’s police department, NPR reported.

"What we know is that officers—and they will say themselves—that they are not the best response for a myriad of issues: mental health crises, opioid overdoses—even domestic violence,” council member Phillipe Cunningham told MPR News. “They know they’re not the best response because it’s just a cycle of going back and going back. They’re not trained social workers.”

Celebrities—such as Lizzo, John Legend, and Taraji P. Henson—voiced their support to defund the police last week when they signed an open letter penned by the Movement 4 Black Lives.