Defund The Police

"Defund the police" is a slogan that supports divesting funds from police departments and reallocating them to non-policing forms of public safety and community support, such as social services, youth services, housing, education, healthcare and other community resources. Activists who use the phrase may do so with varying intentions; some seek modest reductions, while others argue for full divestment as a step toward the abolition of contemporary police services. Activists who support the defunding of police departments often argue that investing in community programs could provide a better crime deterrent for communities; funds would go toward addressing social issues, like poverty, homelessness, and mental disorders.[1][2] Police abolitionists call for replacing existing police forces with other systems of public safety, like housing, employment, community health, education, and other programs.[3][4][5] The "defund the police" slogan became common during the George Floyd protests starting in May 2020.[6] According to Jenna Wortham and Matthew Yglesias, the slogan was popularized by the Black Visions Collective shortly after the murder of George Floyd.[7][8] Black Lives Matter, the Movement for Black Lives, and other activists have used the phrase to call for police budget reductions and to delegate certain police responsibilities to other organizations.[9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16] In Black Reconstruction in America, first published in 1935, W. E. B. Du Bois wrote about "abolition-democracy", which advocated for the removal of institutions that were rooted in racist and repressive practices, including prisons, convict leasing, and white police forces. In the 1960s, activists such as Angela Davis advocated for the defunding or abolition of police departments.[17] The 2017 book The End of Policing by Alex S. Vitale has been called "a manual of sorts for the defund movement".[18] Many sociologists, criminologists, and journalists have criticized aspects of the police defunding movement.[19][20][21][22] In the United States, politicians from both the Democratic and Republican parties have spoken against defunding, although Republicans have sought to link Democrats to the movement in congressional races,[23] and in 2021, the Biden administration rebutted by arguing Republicans were trying to defund the police.[24] Among the general public in the United States, the concept of defunding is unpopular.[25][26][23]

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