Amid calls from protesters and organizations for lawmakers to defund the police, Los Angeles has been the first to announce a significant budget cut for its law enforcement.
Before George Floyd’s death, the Los Angeles police department was set to receive an increase in its annual budget from $1.189 billion to $1.86 billion, mostly in the form of bonuses. On Wednesday, after activists protested outside his home, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti nixed these increases, and cut $100-$150 million from the budget.
Many protests around the country are calling for other cities to do the same, arguing that police funds could be more usefully redirected to areas like education and healthcare. In an open letter, Black Lives Matter and 100 other black rights organizations called on citizens to sign a petition to decrease the funding of police departments.
“Policing and militarization overwhelmingly dominate the bulk of national and local budgets,” the letter reads. “In fact, police and military funding has increased every single year since 1973, and at the same time, funding for public health decreased every year.”
Decades of disinvestment and racially disparate policies have disproportionately hurt our African-American community in SF.
— London Breed (@LondonBreed) June 5, 2020
Forbes reported that in New York, over 40 city council candidates are calling for a $1 billion cut to the NYPD’s $6 million budget over four years, while according to SF Gate, San Francisco Mayor London Breed has promised to redirect police funds to support the black community. Exact details of the San Francisco cuts haven’t been finalized or announced yet.