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Fewer than one in five support the ‘defund the police’ movement, USA TODAY/Ipsos Poll finds

  • March 08, 2021

such as George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. 

While some believe defunding the police is a call to get rid of law enforcement completely, many activists behind the slogan intended to make a more nuanced argument for police budgets to be steered toward community social programs so that officers were less often required to take on roles better suited to social workers. 

Man dies when gunfire erupts near ‘George Floyd Square’ in Minneapolis as Chauvin trial loomsStark divide on race, policing emerges since George Floyd’s death

Support for the effort to redirect police funds was clearly divided along political and racial lines. 

Eighty-four percent of Republicans polled support fully funding police budgets while only33% of Democrats would like to keep police budgets at their current levels. The survey found that 67% of Democrats support redistributing portions of police budgets to social programs compared to only 16% of Republicans.

“I don’t like that concept and I thought the minute it came out ‘defund’ was a horrible word. Reallocate would be the correct word,” said Mary DeLucco, a Democrat from Portland, Oregon. “Police are already defunded … We’re already understaffed in Oregon for police issues. We had five shootings yesterday and cops are having a hard time to get to those locations. They’re just not enough of them.”

House passes police reform bill named for George Floyd

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