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.
John Legend published his 10-tweet-long take on the matter yesterday, over the course of several hours.
Beginning by posting a link to an Essence.com article, the 41-year-old proceeded to state: “I know this word ‘defund’ has caused some controversy, even from some who are inclined to agree with a lot of the underlying arguments.”
In his next few tweets pertaining to the subject, John Legend chiefly emphasized his belief that community funds allocated for police services can be better spent in other areas. “Let’s resolve to do differently. Let’s imagine a healthier world,” wrote the Springfield, Ohio, native.
“This doesn’t mean there will be no police; it means there should be significantly fewer police and more professionals of other types with expertise in their fields, whether it’s social work, health care, conflict resolution, drug treatment, etc.,” proceeded Legend.
Finally, the artist said that defunding means “taking away some funding from one budget item and moving it to higher priorities” and relayed his view of activists’ role in prompting politicians to enact policy decisions: “I’m almost 100% sure Biden won’t be tweeting #DefundThePolice. It’s the job of activists to push these politicians toward meaningful change.”
Over the weekend, a crowd booed Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey from their protest, chanting “go home” and “shame” after he stated that he does not support the defunding of the local police department.
Nine of 12 Minneapolis City Councilmembers recently voted in favor of defunding their community’s police force. In an interview today, Mayor Frey signaled that he supports “massive, structural, and transformational reform” to the police department, but reiterated that he will not back the move to defund the MPD outright.