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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