Several cities in different parts of the US have decreased the funding for their police departments last yea following police-involved shootings. However, after efforts to defund the police, these cities have seen an increase in certain crimes, as per Fox News.
Cities like Los Angeles, New York City, Minneapolis, and Austin have redirected their funds from their police departments to their social service programs. These cuts resulted in some police departments letting go of officers, stopping recruitment classes or giving up on hiring goals altogether.
While these police departments had to do what they can with the smaller budget, some of the cities have seen a steep increase in instances of murders and other violent crimes, according to Fox News.
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While the “defund the police” movement doesn’t necessarily mean gutting the budgets, some groups still tried. This comes on top of cuts expected due to the pandemic.
Crime Statistics After Cities Defund Police Departments
Following the death of George Floyd in May 2020, the rates of violent crimes saw a steep increase. Floyd is an African-American man who was handcuffed, pleading as former police officer Derek Chauvin, who is White, pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck for over nine minutes. Currently, Chauvin is facing charges of murder and manslaughter, and his trial is currently ongoing.
In the period between Dec. 11 last year and March 28 this year, murders in this city increased by 46% compared to the number reported at the same time last year. Also, from the initial budget cut in 2020 until March 28 this year, the city saw 49% more homicides
Between the same period, the total violent crime in the city went up by 22% year-over-year. It seems the violent summer months were the cause of the, as per the Minneapolis PD.
Last December the city council approved a budget that redirected around $8 million from the police department to social programs like violence prevention and mental health programs.
Months prior to this, particularly in July, the city council also redirected $1.1 million from the department to the Office of Violence Prevention.
In Portland, murders have tripled year-over-year, records reveal.
Statistics gathered by the police from July 2020 to Feb. 2021 show that instances of homicide in the state went up by 270.6%. In this period, 63 homicide cases were reported, but from the same period in the year prior, only 17 were reported.
In the first two months of 2021, the city saw a 1,600% increase in murder cases compared to the first two months in 2020. For this year, 17 murders were reported between Jan. and Feb., compared to only 1 in the same period in 2019.
In mid-June, Portland’s city commissioners voted to cut around $16 million from the budget of the police department.
New York City, New York
In The Big Apple, murders have gone up 11.8% as of March 21. This year, the NYPD recorded 76 murders, compared to 68 in 2020.
The instances of shootings in 2021 went up by 40% while the number of shooting victims rose by 39%.
In July 2020, NYC’s council voted to redirect $1 billion from the budget allocated for NYPD to education and social services.
Los Angeles, California
As per the LAPD, the city saw a 38% increase in murders in 2020, even though the local government placed mandates that kept people indoors. As of March 13, murders went up by 28.3% and the number of shooting victims went up by almost 50%. Aggravated assaults also increased by 8.4%.
In July 2020, city leaders voted to decrease LAPD’s budget by $150 million.
As of Feb. 2021, 11 murders were recorded in Austin, compared to only 10 during the same time last year. Aggravated assaults went up by 26% this year as well.
Last August, the city council of Austin voted unanimously to cut around one-third of the city’s police budget. The funding was agreed to be redirected to social services.