In a recent series of Twitter messages, John Legend explained what it actually means to “defund the police,” which some activists are calling for in the wake of George Floyd’s death.
The movement has been met with confusion, so Legend dedicated a thread on Twitter to explain what exactly is meant by “Defund the Police.”
Beginning by posting a link to an Essence.com article, the 41-year-old wrote: “I know this word ‘defund’ has caused some controversy, even from some who are inclined to agree with a lot of the underlying arguments.”
Legend called on his followers to “engage with the thoughtful arguments in this piece,” before claiming that “right now we spend far too much on policing.”
He pointed out that huge portions of a city’s budget are funneled into police departments – money that could potentially benefit social service programs like health care and education, which are known to benefit low-income areas and reduce the crime rate, but suffer at the expense of police surveillance. Legend ended his message by reminding people that increasing the minimum wage and passing gay marriage laws seemed impossible decades ago, but activists have successfully pushed legislation that has made progress a reality.
Nine of 12 Minneapolis City Council members recently voted in favor of defunding their community’s police force.