The Minneapolis City Council has voted to defund more than $7 million of the city’s police budget to other social service programs in the city.
Minneapolis’ 2021 budget will redirect $7.7 million from the Minneapolis Police Department and will go toward “preventing violence and building community well-being,” Council Member Steve Fletcher told CNN.
The funds will be used for mental health programs and the Civil Rights Department’s Office of Police Conduct Review to investigate police complaints.
The death of George Floyd in May, shined a light on policing in the city and directly led to the Black Lives Matter resurgence last summer as protests took place for several months. Nine members of the city council initially pledged to defund and dismantle the entire police department but that was met with stiff resistance.
The Minneapolis City Council originally wanted to cut the number of officers in the city from 888 currently to 750 beginning in 2022. However, on Dec. 7, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said he would veto a decline in the number of officers in the city calling the move “irresponsible.’
Other cities and states have also made deep cuts to police budgets in response to the Black Lives Matter movement over the summer. Seattle’s City Council passed a $3.5 million cut to the police budget and a downsizing of 100 officers. Los Angeles approved a $150 million budget cut from its police department, San Francisco approved a $120 million cut from its police and Oakland cut $14.6 million from its law enforcement budget.
Even the nation’s capital approved a $15 million cut from its police budget earlier this summer. Other cities that have cut their department budgets include Baltimore; Portland, Oregon, Philadelphia, Hartford, Conn. Norman, Oklahoma and Salt Lake City.
Most cities that have cut their police budgets have reallocated the money to social service programs. Those include drug addiction and prevention and homelessness.
A hearing on the police budget cuts led to more than 300 residents signing up and expressing their feelings and the hearing lasted more than five hours according to CBS Minnesota.