NEW YORK, NY – According to reports, amid the one-year anniversary of the death of George Floyd several major U.S. cities are looking to backpedal on their initial efforts to reduce funding for law enforcement after seeing large spikes in crime.
Floyd’s death on May 25, 2020 under the knee of now-convicted Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin sparked national protests against police brutality and a “defund the police” movement – with some feeling the cut funds should be redirected into social programs – but some cities that initially cut the budgets of their law enforcement agencies in response – including Minneapolis, New York City, and Los Angeles – are now thinking twice amid major increases in violent crime and depleted police forces where low morale has forced many officers to quit the job.
While addressing Minneapolis’ 21 percent increase in violent crime throughout 2020 – and into 2021 – at a May 7 news conference, Democrat Mayor Jacob Frey lamented that the dire situation was directly tied into efforts to defund the police.
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“The violence needs to stop, it’s unacceptable. People deserve to feel safe in their neighborhood, they deserve to be able to send their kids out to the sidewalk to play and to recreate without bullets flying by,” he said. “When you make big, overarching statements that we’re going to defund or abolish and dismantle the police department and get rid of all the officers, there’s an impact to that.”
Violent crime has increased in Los Angeles by 36 percent last year – with the number of murders hitting 350, the most in ten years – after $150 million was cut from the LAPD’s budget. In light of these facts, LA’s city council last week voted to restore much of that cut funding, enough for the LAPD to hire 250 more cops.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also announced earlier in May that, in an effort to help drive down the increasing crime rate in the city – 2021 so far has seen a 50 percent increase in shootings over the same period last year – a new police precinct would be constructed in Southeast Queens, and a previously-promised cut of $1 billion from the NYPD’s budget has yet to occur.