Should we defund the police?

After the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of police, widespread calls for reform and defunding law enforcement joined the chorus of criticism and anti-racist protests across the United States. The phrase "Defund the Police" started to show up on signs and on social media, but those three words can mean vastly different things depending on who you ask. Advocates for defunding the police say that law enforcement agencies around the country are rooted in racist ideals, lack accountability, and are often called on for situations better handled by other professionals. Others say that more funding is needed to reform police departments and to train officers to work with communities, instead of simply enforcing laws. Should we defund the police?

investigate

What Would Dismantling Minneapolis' Police Department Look Like?

Additional resources to think about

US House passes 'George Floyd' police reform bill
Democrats in the US House of Representatives have passed a sweeping police reform bill. However, it has little potential to become law as a result of partisan gridlock.

There's little evidence showing which police reforms work
Professor Robin Engel, from the University of Cincinnati, discusses the lack of research about police reforms or their effectiveness.

'Defund The Police' Requires Rethinking Black Communities' Relationship with the Chicago Police Department
Though Black Chicagoans want police brutality to stop, they have varying ideas of the ways to achieve safety in their community.

'We will still do our job': Local police agree with some aspects of 'defund the police' movement
Local police discuss various options on the spectrum between defunding police departments, installing new community-oriented safety solutions, and police reform.

How Americans Feel About 'Defunding The Police'
Polls about defunding the police show that there are varying degrees of support depending significantly on how the issue is presented.

Poll: Voters oppose 'Defund the Police' but back major reforms
While more than 60% of Americans agree that police departments need major reform, voters remain skeptical of the “Defund the Police” movement.

Do Americans support defunding the police? It depends how you ask the question. 
75% of Americans agree that racism is a significant problem. However, there has been confusion about the term “defunding the police” and on how to address racism in policing.

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Should we defund the police?

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