Ending Police Violence: What Do Defund and Divest Mean?

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Protesters are flooding the streets demanding change after the death of George Floyd and so many other Black people at the hands of police. Crowds are echoing the rallying cry to “defund the police.” But what exactly do they mean? Some advocacy groups are calling for the current policing structure to be dismantled and rebuilt, investing more resources into communities. Others are calling for the complete abolition of all police. This explainer outlines two among a range of perspectives and sets out some key tenets for bringing about wholesale, systemic change to policing in America.

Key Takeaway

Limiting police interactions and investing in community-based interventions are crucial to providing for public safety in a way that’s less intrusive, more just, and more constructive.