As ongoing global protests have made clear, we've reached what feels like an actual breaking point in terms of addressing the inherent racism and oppression of current policing tactics. And while elements of the typical cycle—an unarmed black person is killed at the hands of police, the usual political leaders chime in with talks of reform, the pattern repeats—are still present, a more definitive response has taken hold among activists and other social justice proponents: Defund the police.
In the latest episode of Complex World, host Speedy Morman takes a look at the call for police defunding, notably breaking down the two approaches represented in one phrase. While some are calling for outright abolition, others are supporting an invest-and-divest strategy. The latter would see the budgets of police departments dramatically reduced, with the funds instead being put toward community-based health care, housing, and other points of interest for betterment at the local level.
For a clearer picture on the sheer volume of money that's wasted on beefing up police departments in the U.S., look no further than two glaring examples of bizarrely bloated police budgets: New York City ($5 billion) and Los Angeles ($3 billion).
Watch the new Complex World episode up top for more on how we could all benefit from supporting this movement.