Big Cities Boosting, Not Defunding Police Budgets

Big Cities Boosting, Not Defunding Police Budgets
Easley)

It seemed like a turning point. In May, a Minneapolis police officer killed George Floyd, sparking protests against racism across the country and an unrelenting demand from protesters in city after city: Defund the police.

But after months of demonstrations, that rallying cry hasn’t translated into reality. While a few major cities like New York and Los Angeles have made large, high profile cuts, more than half actually increased spending or kept it unchanged as a percentage of their discretionary spending, based on a Bloomberg CityLab analysis of 34 of the largest 50 U.S. cities that have finalized 2021 budgets. As a group, the difference between police spending as a share of the general funds fell less than 1% from last year. The city council in Indianapolis is poised to vote on an increase to its police budget in the coming weeks.

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