What Defund Are You Talking About?

“The Justice in Policing Act would limit legal protections for police, create a national database of excessive-force incidents and ban police choke holds, among other changes, according to an early draft. It is the most ambitious change to law enforcement sought by Congress in years.” Senate Dems knelt for 8 minutes and 46 seconds before unveiling a law enforcement bill co-authored by Cory Booker and Kamala Harris.

+ One word not in the bill: Defund. But that’s a word we’re hearing more of during the protests. Georgetown law professor Christy E. Lopez in WaPo: Defund the police? Here’s what that really means. “For most proponents, ‘defunding the police’ does not mean zeroing out budgets for public safety, and police abolition does not mean that police will disappear overnight — or perhaps ever. Defunding the police means shrinking the scope of police responsibilities and shifting most of what government does to keep us safe to entities that are better equipped to meet that need.”

+ “Supporters say it isn’t about eliminating police departments or stripping agencies of all of their money. They say it is time for the country to address systemic problems in policing in America and spend more on what communities across the U.S. need, like housing and education.”

+ The Minneapolis City Council seems to have a broader definition. “In their boldest statement since George Floyd’s killing, nine Minneapolis City Council members told a crowd Sunday that they will ‘begin the process of ending the Minneapolis Police Department.'” (It’s difficult to carefully hone the messaging of a grassroots movement that has no leader. But it might be time to de-escalate the use of defund until everyone agrees on a definition.)

+ Change for a Twenty: Yesterday, I called on the NextDraft community help amplify a demand to fast-track the promised Harriet Tubman $20 bill. So far so good. We’re pushing 8K Retweets. Please spread the world.

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