U.S cities reverse 'defunding' police department amid rising crime

Several major U.S. cities reported a roughly 33% increase in violent crime last year.

Published: May 27, 2021 8:25am

Updated: May 27, 2021 9:57am

Elected officials in cities across the country – including New York and Los Angeles – that cut law-enforcement budgets after George Floyd's death last year and the subsequent "defund" the police movement are now reversing such decisions amid an increase in crime.

In June 2020, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a $1 billion cut to the law enforcement budget. After a year, in April 2021, de Blasio reversed course and said the city would spend $92 million to create a new police precinct that was canceled last summer.

In Baltimore, Mayor Brandon Scott, a fellow Democrat, and who backed a City Council effort last year to cut the municipal police budget by $22 million, recently proposed a $27 million increase.

Los Angeles Democratic Mayor Eric Garcetti similarly proposed an increase of $50 million after cutting the police budget by $150 million last year. Other cities including Seattle and Oakland have followed suit.

Floyd was killed in May 2020 while in Minneapolis police custody, sparking a summer of social justice and "defund" protests.

In 2020, major U.S. cities such Chicago and Los Angeles, had a 33% increase in homicides, while 66 of the largest police jurisdictions had an increase in at least one category of violent crime, including homicide, robbery, rape, or assault, according to CNN.

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