Defunding the police is largely understood to mean reallocating funds from police departments to other community resources. Some activists, however, are calling for police departments to be completely dismantled. Regardless, these calls to ‚defund the police‘ — which are supported by about one-third of Americans — involve reimagining the current policing system in the United States.
In the wake of George Floyd’s killing, some cities are asking if the police are being asked to do jobs they were never intended to do. Budgets are being re-evaluated.
Non-reformist reforms seek abolition as an end goal, and include defunding and demilitarizing the police — a demand that has long been considered politically impossible but has entered mainstream discourse over the last week and is reflected in the letters sent Friday.
The letter to police chiefs asks them to help curb the power of police unions. “Making sure that unions aren’t as powerful so that you can keep bad apples on the force, and prevent robust oversight and disciplinary action,” Medwed said.
(19. April 2018)
For instance, the public has a clear interest in knowing that at least 319 NYPD employees were allowed to keep their jobs, even after committing offenses that NYPD leaders have always assured us were fireable. Those pushing for more police in schools in the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, might want to know that three school safety officers found guilty of using excessive force against students were punished with just five lost vacation days. And anyone concerned about false information leading to wrongful convictions might like to know that more than 100 employees accused of “lying on official reports, under oath, or during an internal affairs investigation” were punished with as little as a few days of lost vacation.
Much of this information would have been made publicly available up until recently. But in 2016 the NYPD suddenly decided, after decades of posting so-called police “personnel orders,” that doing so violated section 50-a of the New York State Civil Rights Law, which limits the release of certain police personnel records.
In New York, which has one of the strictest laws in the country protecting the privacy of law enforcement officers, Gov. Andrew Cuomo surprised advocates this week when he expressed support for repealing 50-a, despite the fact that the legislation has been hotly debated during the nine years he has been in office. “I would sign a bill today that reforms 50-a,” Cuomo said. “I would sign it today.” De Blasio has defended 50-a, and under his administration the city has stopped making the outcomes of internal disciplinary reviews available to the public.
Minnesota Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan announced on Tuesday the state’s Department of Human Rights is launching an investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department’s practices and policies over the last decade.
Trump has gone on the offensive over the past few days, suddenly removing or publicly berating three inspectors general.
Glenn Fine, the acting Department of Defense inspector general, was set to lead the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, the group of government watchdogs tasked with rooting out fraud and waste in coronavirus spending programs.