Overfunding police has led to militarization, which has given the police the tools to escalate violence rather than to deescalate. Defunding would give us the opportunity to refocus much of the funds that have been used for over-policing Black and Brown communities on programs that really meet the needs of people.
We’ve been expecting the police to solve all of our problems with mental health, drug addiction, and other social issues. If we re-imagined how we can work together to actually keep each other safe, we could redirect much of the resources now funding over-policing Black and Brown communities to lessen poverty, unemployment, and wages that don’t support a family. We could improve housing, education, health care, and address other human needs.
We’ve never had a better opportunity to look at how we might achieve that. There are many models to look at, such as the processes begun in Minneapolis and San Francisco. We urge our City leadership to begin the process of re-imagining public safety.