On May 25, a 46-year-old African American man by the name of George Floyd was brutally killed by a Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin. The reason for Floyd’s arrest was because there was a 911 call from an employee in a convenience store who said that Floyd bought a box of cigarettes with a fake $20 bill. This fake $20 bill led to this man being killed in the hands of police. In the state of Minnesota, the highest punishment if caught using counterfeit money is a fine up to $3,000 or a 1-year sentence in prison. Floyd’s death hurt and touched the hearts of many individuals, especially the black community.
Men, women, and children of color have lost their innocent lives in the hands of police for over 400 years now, it is 2020 and things still have not changed. Since the death of George Floyd, there has been nationwide protests from people of all races who have marched the streets chanting Black Lives Matter, while also trying to draw attention to defunding the police. Many individuals have had the idea of defunding the police for many years now, but the death of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery is what really reignited it all. As a result, some states have already started defunding their police, but many political influencers and citizens don’t agree with this process while others believe it is needed to ensure a safer community.
When it comes to defunding the police there are obviously two different sides, those who are all for it, and those who are against it. Those who are for it believe that policing is a system meant to maintain racial profiling in society. This has led to many individuals of color fearing the police because it is said that they bring more fear into communities then safety. There are billions of dollars spent on the police system every year in order to ensure the safety of all individuals, but for many this is not the case. Evidence shows that Obama’s multimillion-dollar implementation of body cameras, trainings, and other reforms have been inefficient.
Body cameras can be shut off by police officers at any time and have also shown that it would not stop them from committing violent, unnecessary acts of conduct. Not to mention, the six-month training police officers go through have shown to be bias and led by individuals who are accused of many abuses. Now, the people who are against defunding the police believe that there will no longer be policing, but it just means that there will be a reallocation of funds. They also believe that there should be law and order to establish a safe society, so by the continuation of funding the police, it is said that there would be a chance for reform programs. (e.g., American Friends Service Committee)
Another reason why many American citizens support defunding the police is because of the amount of money they are given each year. Studies have shown that state and local governments are given over $100 billion dollars each year for law enforcement expenses, this does not include the many other grants and resources they receive. By defunding the police, communities would be able to redirect that money in order to have better school counseling, education, health care, mental health facilities, and housing, which could help build a safer environment. Those who don’t support this idea would rather have law enforcement spend the funds they receive on militarized equipment to ensure their safety, while others are endangered.
It is proven that African American men are more likely to lose their life to police violence then a serious health issue, which comes to show how dangerous and shocking this law enforcement system is. Living in a modern-day democracy that strives for equal rights, justice, and freedom, police violence should never be the leading cause of death for any racially profiled black men. By decreasing the funds of police departments, it gives an opportunity to help end racial profiling, discrimination, and social problems by investing in them, which can potentially create a better and safer community for everybody. (e.g. ACLU)
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