by WorldTribune Staff, June 8, 2020
Leftist politicians are quickly moving to defund, and even disband, police departments across America.
The mayors of New York and Los Angeles have announced massive cuts to police budgets while the Minneapolis City Council intends to disband that city’s police department.
House Democrats are also proposing “transformative” changes to police department’s nationwide.
The Justice in Policing Act unveiled on Monday would limit legal protections for police, create a national database of excessive-force incidents and ban police choke holds, among other changes, The Associated Press reported.
“We’re in a real moment in our country,” said Rep. Karen Bass, California Democrat and chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, which is leading the effort. “It is time for police culture in many departments to change. And we believe that the legislation will make a major step forward in that direction.”
The Left is moving forward despite a new poll which shows Americans overwhelmingly oppose defunding police. The YouGov survey found just 16 percent of Democrats and 15 percent of Republicans said they were in favor of the idea.
Nine members of the Minneapolis City Council said on Sunday that they supported defunding the city’s police department and replacing it with a so-called “community-based public safety model.”
“This council is going to dismantle this police department,” City Council members Jeremiah Ellison said.
The nine votes is enough to override any veto from Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, who has said he opposes disbanding the police department but would work with Chief Medaria Arradondo and the community “toward deep, structural reform and addressing systemic racism in police culture.”
Any significant move to disband the Minneapolis Police Department or alter its funding will likely require a public vote on the matter to change its charter, Fox 9 reported.
Minnesota Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar, whose congressional district includes Minneapolis, has voiced her support for the council members’ plan.
“This is an opportunity for us to get rid of a system that was built not to provide safety and serve and to start to put into place a system that does provide that safety,” Omar said.
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Sunday he would shift funds away from the NYPD toward youth and social services.
De Blasio vowed to announce specifics before the July 1 budget deadline. The NYPD currently has a $6 billion annual budget – about 6 percent of de Blasio’s proposed $90 billion budget for the city.
“We’re committed to seeing a shift of funding to youth services, to social services, that will happen literally in the course of the next three weeks, but I’m not going to go into detail because it is subject to negotiation and we want to figure out what makes sense,” de Blasio said Sunday.
The changes also include moving the enforcement for street vending out of the NYPD to a civilian agency, and creating community ambassadors to the NYPD to act as liaisons between officers and civilians, WCBS-TV reported.
Community ambassadors would be “people from the community, civilians deeply steeped in their communities with the ability to bring the concerns of the community to the highest levels of the NYPD, to bring back answers, including the status on disciplinary cases and changes in policing that needs to be done to allow better policing, fairer policing,” the mayor said.
De Blasio did not address demands made by dozens of employees in his own Office of Criminal Justice. They proposed several police reforms, including a move to criminalize the use of choke holds by officers, which would make it easier for district attorneys to prosecute infractions. De Blasio refused to sign the measure without an exemption for members of law enforcement in life-threatening situations, The New York Times reported.
The mayor’s vow to cut funding to the NYPD comes as New York City has experienced a steep rise in crime in recent months, even amid coronavirus lockdown orders.
Over the last month, murder has jumped more than 94 percent compared to the same time last year. Burglaries — now that suspects can be freed with0ut paying bail — have increased almost 34 percent in the last month compared to 2019.
Grand larceny auto, whereby suspects likewise are freed now without having to pay bail, has become the fastest growing crime in New York City. In the last week, grand larceny auto has jumped nearly 90 percent, and over the last month, there have been nearly 70 percent more cases of grand larceny auto this year than there were at the same time last year.
Mayor Eric Garcetti said last week that his administration would “identify $250 million in cuts” to the LAPD and invest more money into the black community, communities of color, women and “people who have been left behind.”
The Los Angeles Times reported the city will try and cut between $100 million to $150 million from its police budget.
“While our work for racial justice begins in L.A., it must echo throughout our state and across our nation. I will keep working with leaders in Sacramento and D.C. to advance legislation that protects black lives and communities of color long denied equity in our laws,” Garcetti tweeted on Friday.
Garcetti also announced he would launch the city’s new Civil and Human Rights Department and Civil and Human Rights Commission this summer to “protect anyone who lives, works in or visits L.A. from discrimination or denial of equal treatment in private employment, housing, education or commerce.”
The mayor said he supported the work done by members of the California black caucus to “restore voting rights to those serving parole, improve emergency response services for historically neglected communities, and seek reparations for the impact of slavery.”