The protests over George Floyd’s death have continued for two weeks. Protestors are now asking cities to defund police departments and allocate spending to other areas. Over the weekend, city council members in Minneapolis said they would take steps to disband the Minneapolis police department. A Minneapolis police officer is responsible for George Floyd’s death.
Defunding the police is just as it sounds, remove funding from police departments and allocate it to other areas. Patrisse Cullors, co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement told WBUR in Boston that defunding the police “means that we are reducing the ability for law enforcement to have resources that harm our communities. It’s about reinvesting those dollars into black communities, communities that have been deeply divested from.”
Cullors also said it was crucial step to justice for the Black community, “The demand of defunding law enforcement becomes a central demand in how we actually get real accountability and justice,” she says, “because it means we are reducing the ability of law enforcement to have resources that harm our communities.”
Elaine Welteroth, journalist and former editor in chief of Teen Vogue echoed that sentiment in an Instagram post, who’s caption partly read, “In the wake of #GeorgeFloyd’s murder, a major American city is “ready to dig in and enact more community-led public safety strategies.” I can’t help but read that & ask: In the wake of murder after murder, hashtag after hashtag, outrage after outrage: IS that really so radical? What else am I / are we open to rethinking? As we search for solutions, how big can we dream right now? What are all the action steps we can take, now & into the future to collectively build a new reality—the kind of world we want to live in & pass on to our kids? ”
Her post cited a US Department of Education statistic that found 10 million students are in schools with cops, but without social workers, and 6 million are in schools with cops, but no school psychologists.
In some cases, defunding the police could also mean budget cuts. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said he would cut $150 million from the Los Angeles Police Department’s $1.8 billion budget. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also said he would cut funding from the New York Police Department and allocate that funding to youth services. He did not say how much of the $6 billion police budget would be cut.
Read all our coverage on the protests against racism in One Green Planet:
- #BlackLivesMatter: 10 Inspiring Black Voices Diversifying the Environmental Movement
- #BlackLivesMatter: Protests Against Police Brutality Continue in Full Force Across the Country
- #BlackLivesMatter: Killing Black Americans is a Public Health and Human Rights Crisis
- #BlackLivesMatter: Black Climate Activists Share their Struggles Amid Protests
- #BlackLivesMatter: George Floyd’s Memorial Service and Updates on Other Cases
- #BlackLivesMatter: Minneapolis City Council Pledges to Defund and Dismantle Police
Here’s what you can do:
Also, remember to register to vote if you haven’t already. This is one of the simplest ways to make your voice heard as a citizen.Here are some resources for you:
Places to donate:
- Donate to Black Lives Matter here.
- Get involved with your local BLM chapter: The full list is here or start your own.
- Many protestors are getting arrested and being held. Donate to bail funds in your city, here or here.
- HBCUBuzz has a listing of lawyers and legal resources for protestors, organized by state.
- Resources and donations by the National Police Accountability Project.
- Learn about Campaign Zero, which works to end police violence in America.
- The New York Times has put together an anti-racist reading list.
- National Black Bailout Fund, which works towards ending systems of mass incarceration and freeing imprisoned black mothers.
- Visit Louisville Community Bail Fund to contribute towards bail for protesters in Louisville.
Petitions to Sign:
- Justice for George Floyd
- Petition to end medical racism
- Justice for Breonna Taylor
- Justice for Ahmaud Arbery
- Justice for Tony McDade, Black trans man killed by police
- Sign the “Justice for George Floyd” petition on Change.org
- Color of Change launched a petition asking that all the officers involved in Floyd’s death are brought to justice.
For a more extensive resource list, please see the collection put together by Black Lives Matter.
Through this grief and anger, we must unite and work together to create the change we want to see. Let’s make sure no black child has to ever say these heartbreaking words ever again.
If you’re attending a protest, please be safe and careful and maintain social distancing, if possible.