New Policy Brief: Police Budgets on the Ballot before and after George Floyd’s Murder

Posted by Temple University Public Policy Lab on January 18, 2022

In “Police Budgets on the Ballot before and after George Floyd’s Murder,” author Michael Sances of Temple University’s Department of Political Science examines the political responses and voting trends following the murder of George Floyd and the continued movements for racial justice and police funding reform.

The phrase “defund the police” gained widespread  currency after George Floyd’s murder in May  2020 and the subsequent surge in nonviolent  protests. While there was some debate as to what  was precisely meant by the phrase–abolishing the  police immediately, reallocating funds to social  services, envisioning a world where police were not  needed, or something else–local policymakers at  first seemed open to the basic idea. In Minneapolis,  a majority of the city council pledged to defund the police in June 2020. Local officials also promised  to reduce or reallocate police spending in cities  around the country, including New York, Seattle,  and Los Angeles.

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