Tell our leaders in Tampa: pledge today to fight police violence in our communities
TAKE ACTION NOW
In the wake of the killing of George Floyd, we are seeing a massive popular political realignment around the role and scope of policing in the United States, led by Black organizers and Black-led movement groups. More than ever before, this movement is calling for divestment from police departments, and reinvestment into the life-affirming services that help communities thrive.
Modern police forces in this country can be traced back to slave patrols used in Charleston, South Carolina. From their inception, police have been tasked with protecting power and privilege by exerting social control over Black people. That racist history is the broken foundation that our modern policing institution is grounded in. The epidemic of police violence in this country is not an issue of “bad apples”. Modern policing is rotten at its core.
The issue at the heart of our broken policing institution is the broadening of the scope and responsibilities that are given to law enforcement agencies, which has led to the unlawful use of excessive force and the killing of Black men and women.
As the policing presence in Black communities has expanded, so have police budgets — with state and local governments allocating over $100 billion a year to law enforcement. While crime has been trending downward for years and violent crime and property crime have fallen significantly since the early 1990s, over the past four decades, the cost of policing in the U.S. has almost tripled.
Elected officials have the power to reduce the harmful abuse and harassment of impacted communities by police, by reinvesting into community-based services, resources, and alternatives to policing that are best suited to responding to actual community needs. We need to fundamentally reimagine the role police play in our society, and that role has to be smaller, more circumscribed, and less funded with tax-payer dollars.
There is no time to wait – our leaders must make these commitments now.
Message Recipients: Jane Castor, Mayor of Tampa