Updated: August 26, 2021
Law Enforcement has become a target in 2020. Media has seized every opportunity to demonize the entire law enforcement community, using isolated events to cast the entire system as being violent, corrupt, and irredeemably racist. Politicians and activist groups with an agenda to completely reshape the structure of this country didn’t let this crisis go to waste. The “Defund the Police” movement is a radical response, pushed by radical players, but the impacts were very real. The result was that many American cities defunded police or seriously considered re-allocating funds away from local police departments. Here are some of the major metropolitan areas whose governments voted to “Defund the Police”:
Minneapolis was the epicenter of the “Defund The Police,” BLM protests and riots this summer after the death of George Floyd. Their city council was also the first in the nation to vote to defund their police department in June. Justification used to put the measure forward was the whiteness of the Minneapolis Police Department and its failure to “reflect” the city’s makeup, wrote NPR. “Under the proposed plan, the city would eliminate the existing police department and replace it with ‘a department of community safety and violence prevention.’”
New York City
In July, The Big Apple, under the esteemed leadership of Mayor Bill De Blasio was the next major city to cut its funding to its police operations. The NYPD is the largest police department in the country, serving the people of the nation’s largest city. As reported by Newsweek, the precursor to outright defunding the department was the abolition of its plainclothes undercover unit, the largest of its kind in the nation. “Why? This is 21st century policing,” the commissioner continued. “Intelligence, data, ShotSpotter, video, DNA and building prosecutable cases,” said NYPD Chief, Dermot Shea. The City Council in NYC voted to start defunding the NYPD shortly thereafter, cutting $484m from the department’s budget effective 2021, reported USA Today. The negative ramifications were nearly instantaneous as “changes will cancel a nearly 1,200-person police recruiting class set for next month.” According to De Blasio, “This budget prioritizes our communities most in need while keeping New Yorkers safe.”
Cook County, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois is one of, if not the most violent city in America. Chicago is located in Cook County, Illinois. The rampant, unending violence of the Windy City didn’t stop the Cook County Board of Commissioners from passing a resolution to “redirect funds from policing.” The resolution, called Justice for Black Lives, “says the county ‘should engage in efforts to redirect funds from policing and incarceration to public services not administered by law enforcement that promote community health and safety equitably across the County,’” reported the Chicago Sun Times. It is not yet clear exactly how this measure will affect law enforcement budgets going forward.
Does any city capture the spirit of lawlessness in America quite like Portland, Oregon? The unofficial headquarters of Leftist Anarchist group ANTIFA, also unsurprisingly voted to defund their police department this summer. It took Portland City Council two attempts to pass a budget in June, as one commissioner voted against the initial push to pass a budget with reduced police spending…because it didn’t cut enough money from the Portland Police Bureau, according to KGW8 News. The passed budget cut $15m in funding from the bureau and cut 84 jobs. “Please take a moment to celebrate this victory, and let it fuel your fire, because we’re not done,” said one commissioner, Chloe Eudaly.
It should come as no surprise that crime, especially violent crime, has spiraled out of control in every one of these jurisdictions. Defund the Police was a social justice rallying call which has led to the further decay of the social contracts in these cities. Defunding police in Minneapolis, the first city in the country to enact this radical concept, has been an abject disaster with homicides up over 80%, according to the Washington Times. Not to be outdone by the epic failure of Minneapolis, the results in NYC are equally bleak, as the city is on pace to record 400 homicides in a year for the first time since 2012, according to The New York Post. Chicago has dozens of shootings every weekend. Portland is a rats nest of communism, anarchism, and violence. Defund the Police is dangerous for this country and has been a disaster everywhere it has been implemented.
More major metropolitan areas voted to “Defund the Police”. Here is an update:
Austin, is quickly becoming a Progressive oasis in the traditionally conservative state of Texas. And the city was quick to signal along with liberal local governments around the country. ABC News noted in August 2020, that: “In a unanimous vote, the Austin City Council moved Thursday to cut about one-third of next year’s $434 million police budget amid national calls for ‘defunding’ law enforcement agencies in favor of spending more money on social services.” The Austin Police Association slammed the decision, stating ““The council’s budget proposals continue to become more ridiculous and unsafe for Austinites.”
In June of 2020 at the heels of the first wave of George Floyd and other BLM inspired rallies and riots, the Baltimore, Maryland, city council voted to eliminate more than $22 million from their city’s policing budget. At the time, The Baltimore Sun noted that, “Baltimore routinely spends more than half a billion dollars on its police department, far more than on other agencies. Some argue it’s time to instead redirect a portion of that money toward eliminating the root causes of violence.” What amounted to a roughly five percent decrease in police spending, however, did not prove to be a wise policy change. A massive surge in crime over the last year forced the City Council to re-supply the city’s police with $28 million in May, 2021-more than they originally withheld.
The West Coast has been a stronghold for the Antifa/BLM movement and Progressive anti-Law Enforcement rhetoric since the death of George Floyd. As a result, one of the largest police departments in the country, the LAPD, had its slated $1.86 billion budget reduced by $150 million, according to local ABC 7. One member of the City Council, Councilman Curren Price, made sure to pay tribute to the group responsible for the this severe cut to the Law Enforcement budget: “I want to take this time to acknowledge Black Lives Matter L.A. organizers and others for keeping our feet to the fire and demanding more from our government.”
In the aftermath of George Floyd’s death last year, Milwaukee Common Council Alderwoman, Ashanti Hamilton, couldn’t help but notice the opportunity the tragedy provided for the Left’s agenda. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel quotes her as saying, “We haven’t had the opportunity like we have this time where there is such a universal call for change in the way that we’re doing things— not just here in the city of Milwaukee but nationally.” The Common Council passed a budget bill brought by Mayor Tom Barrett which mandated “a cut of 60 police officer positions.” The bill also cut the police overtime budget by $145,669.
Like just about every other city on this list, the City of Brotherly Love also went through a wave of violent riots during the George Floyd protests. And like those cities, Philadelphia also voted to strip its police department of funding immediately after. ABC 7 reported in June of 2020, that the cities proposed for 2021 “calls for a $33.3 million cut in funding to the proposed Philadelphia Police Department budget, which would bring it approximately 4% below funding for the current year.” Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police President, John McNesby, subsequently released a statement saying, in part, that the city’s “political leadership is tone deaf and blind to the realities of public safety in our city by implementing these drastic budget cuts.”
As an organization, it is essential to our mission to continue to cover the proliferation of anti-police and anti-law enforcement policy in major cities across this country. The radicalization of leftwing cultural and identity politics will only weaken the integrity and effectiveness of our institutions the longer it goes unexposed and unchecked. It is important to note that in many, perhaps most of the cities which have begun to reduce their police budgets and workforce, crime, especially violent crime, has skyrocketed over the last year. The citizens of this country who value the work law enforcement does to keep their communities safe are needed to advocate on their behalf as these policies spread. While they may be isolated to major metropolitan areas today, eventually this problem will affect all Americans if it is not stopped.
Image Credit: Photo by Mike Von on Unsplash
From Seattle to New York City, Democrats running some of our country’s largest metro areas have uniformly abandoned the rule of law for the rule of the mob. The media runs interference for these criminal politicians by standing in front of burning businesses while “reporting” on “mostly peaceful protests.” The politicians themselves attempted for months to manipulate the narrative. Read more here.