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What ‘Defund the Police’ Really Means

Reallocating the budgets of police departments isn’t a new idea, but one that’s reached the mainstream

A photo of a protest. One big sign reads “DEFUND THE POLICE.”
A participant holding a Defund The Police sign at the protest. Thousands of protesters filled the streets of Brooklyn on June 2, 2020, in a massive march to demand justice for George Floyd, killed by Officer Derek Chauvin and to make a loud call for the defunding of the police force. Photo: Erik McGregor/LightRocket/Getty Images

The recent police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis outraged the country, sparked global protests, and became the latest symbol of the centuries of systemic violence toward Black Americans. It also reignited calls to defund…




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Protesters gather where George Floyd was pinned down by a police officer kneeling on his neck. Eric Miller / Reuters

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Arionne Nettles

Arionne Nettles

Arionne Nettles is a lecturer at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, a Chicago-based journalist, and a special needs mama.

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