Large cities across the U.S. that promised to nix funding to police departments are revising their earlier decisions because of significant spikes in crime.
The story: Minneapolis, New York City, and Los Angeles are now vowing to give law enforcement more funding in hopes of curbing the rise in crime rates. This comes after leaders in these cities spent almost a year making promises to dismantle police forces and defund them.
In Minneapolis, the violent crime rate jas jumped 21% in 2020, according to the Texas Star Tribune, amid the coronavirus pandemic and protests prompted by the death of George Floyd. In December last year, the Minneapolis City Council voted to divert $8 million in police funding to other services, such as violence prevention and mental health crisis response teams, as part of the promise to reform policing.
The city, however, has appeared to change tune since. Earlier this year in February, the council agreed to provide police with $6.4 million so they can hire more officers.
This month, the city’s Democratic mayor said that the vows to crack down on police forces have “had an impact.”
“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,” Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said. “The violence needs to stop, its 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. That’s unacceptable. We should be holding these perpetrators accountable.”
At a news conference earlier this week, the mayor said he is asking for both federal and state help to deal with the high crime rate.
Los Angeles recorded an even bigger jump in the crime rate of 36% as officials in the city took away $150 million from police departments’ funding, which is around 8% of the total amount. The Los Angeles Times reported that the city’s crime rate has risen 27.6%, compared to the same period in 2020.
In April, Democratic Mayor Eric Garcetti proposed increasing funding to police by 3% in his 2021-22 budget. He cited an uptick in homicides and claimed his proposal was a “justice budget.”
Last week, officials in the city approved more funding to allow the police department to hire an additional 250 officers.
The New York Times reports that the move makes up for the cuts from last year.
In New York City, between January and April in 2021, the crime rate has increased by 54%. Shooting incidents skyrocketed by 97% last year.
This comes after Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio said they will cut $1 billion from the police department’s budget in the city. However, the promises have largely remained unfulfilled as the mayor and the city council failed to find common ground because of the jump in crimes in the city.
Earlier this month, de Blasio announced that the city will build a new police precinct in Southeast Queens, citing a need for an increased police presence to fight a rising crime rate.
Scroll down to leave a comment and share your thoughts.