Defunding the Police: Brief Overview of History, Models and the Demands of the Movement

By Yoana Tchoukleva, Amalee Beattie and Josh Cottle
Equal Justice Society
June 18, 2020

As activists across the nation call for defunding the police, many attorneys and non-attorneys alike find these calls unrealistic, naïve or even dangerous. Why not reform the police? We can ban abusive practices and hold officers responsible for misconduct but why abolish the police altogether? Who will keep us safe? We at Equal Justice Society honor the work that activists and community organizers are doing to answer these questions and create new models for community safety, justice and wellbeing. We offer this brief, non-exhaustive, research piece as an invitation for further reflection and conversation.[1]

Where did the call to #DefundThePolice come from?

The current demands for defunding the police are rooted in a long history of visioning and organizing toward abolition of prisons, jails and policing in the United States. Led by Black abolition feminists[2] such as Mariame Kaba, Angela Davis, and Ruth Wilson Gilmore, the movement for abolition offers a political vision and a framework for ending the prison industrial complex and “creating lasting alternatives to punishment and imprisonment.”[3] It asks us to imagine a world where policing is obsolete, where no one is kept behind bars, and where all people have what they need to thrive.

In essence, policing is a system of control and punishment used through the centuries to uphold the dominant social order of white supremacist capitalism.[4] As Kaba writes in the NY Times, policing in the South “emerged from slave patrols in the 1700s that caught and returned runaway slaves.”[5] Policing in the North began in the 1800s in efforts to quash labor strikes and preserve power in the hands of the few. From the origins of the institution of policing to today, police have been given broad discretion in how and against whom they enforce the law.[6] It is not surprising then that this discretion, backed by state-sanctioned power, has resulted in horrific violence committed against Black, Indigenous and other People of Color (“BIPOC”).[7]

Over the last few decades, calls for abolishing the police have been met with resistance from White communities, but also many BIPOC communities, in part because of the deeply engrained myth that “police keep us safe.” This myth became widespread in the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s as the Nixon, Reagan and then Clinton administrations poured billions of dollars into police departments around the country that waged a war on working-class communities of color under the pretext that they were fighting a “war on crime.”[8] As illustrated in the TV show COPS, police were presented as the “good guys” keeping people safe from “criminals” lurking in every corner. Federal spending on policing skyrocketed just as funding for critical social services was slashed.[9] Policing and incarceration became the government’s response to a whole range of social issues rooted in racism and growing income inequality.

Now, thanks to the work of abolitionist organizations, such as Critical Resistance, and more recently the Movement 4 Black Lives (“M4BL”), the myth that “we need police to keep us safe” is beginning to crumble. More people are waking up to the fact that despite so-called progressive reforms, improved training and added police cameras, police departments nationwide continue to disproportionately target, arrest and murder Black residents. Secondly, people are seeing that police are called to address situations they do not have the skills or the resources to address: from mental health crises to homelessness to addiction. According to a Vera Institute study, of the 240 million calls made to 911 each year, the vast majority were unrelated to emergency events or crimes in progress.[10]

Lastly, attention is finally focused on the fact that police are ill-equipped to prevent crime.[11] And when crime does occur, the police response is either to arrest or use force, which  does not address the societal root causes of crime or harm, often does not meet the needs of victims, and certainly does not lead to the rehabilitation and healing of individual offenders. Put simply, policing as an institution is more often the source of harm than a solution to harm.

What Does Defunding the Police Really Mean? 

The short answer is that organizers and community members are figuring the answer to this question as we speak. But generally speaking, the call to defund the police is a call to decrease police budgets, size, scope, and power while investing into alternative community safety models and wellbeing services (anti-homelessness, healthcare, education, drug rehabilitation, affordable housing, etc.), with the ultimate goal of divesting entirely from our modern policing system.[12]The dual focus of the demand is crucial: this is not solely about slashing police budgets, but also about investing in resources and creating separate, new models of safety responsive to specific communities’ needs.

These demands beginning in Minneapolis[13] have been echoed by national organizations such as the M4BL,[14] ACLU,[15] and Jewish Voice for Peace,[16]as well as local organizations across the country. While views differ on whether defunding means disbanding police entirely or merely diverting a portion of their budgets into community solutions, the prevailing stance originating from activists on the ground is that defunding “is an abolitionist demand,” situated in a long-term goal of abolishing the police as agents of the prison industrial complex.[17]

On the road to abolition, activists are calling for reforms that reduce the scale, scope, power and legitimacy of policing.[18] Dubbed “abolitionist reforms”, these reforms include calls to decrease police funding, withhold pensions, hold officers personally responsible for misconduct settlements, not rehire officers accused of excessive force, etc. By contrast, “reformist reforms” are those that increase funding to police, emphasize individual accountability, and generally expand existing policing.[19] The Justice in Policing Act introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on June 8, 2020 puts forth such reformist reforms including requiring implicit bias training, body cameras, and reporting of use-of-force incidents.[20] Defund activists are calling for the movement to reject reformist reforms, like those included in a campaign called #8CantWait,[21]  because they do not address the root of the issue people are protesting—the racist, capitalist, white supremacist violence inherent in policing.[22] 

While media outlets are amplifying demands to shrink the size and scope of policing, not as much attention has been given to the second part of the equation—the need to invest in the services, practices and community-based solutions that actually keep us safe. Here we offer a brief overview of what the Defund movement is demanding funding for:

  • Invest in social services and basic infrastructure critical to a thriving society:
    • Provide safe, accessible housing to everyone.[23]
    • Allocate city funding towards healthcare infrastructure, wellness resources, neighborhood-based trauma centers, non-coercive drug and alcohol treatment, and peer support networks.[24] 
    • Invest in youth and after-school programs that promote learning, safety and community care.[25]
    • Invest in quality education, which includes ending exclusionary discipline, removing all police from schools, and investing instead in counselors, restorative justice facilitators, nurses, trauma specialists, and other support staff.
    • Make dignified employment available to everyone.
    • Invest in universal childcare and support for all families.[26]
    • Invest in models of collective ownership and production, such as worker coops, that directly benefit workers and counter economic inequity.
    • Invest in universal childcare and support for all families.
    • Provide access to healthy food, clean water and air, recreational activities for kids and adults.
    • Build a robust and ecologically-sound public transportation system.
  • Invest in police-free models for preventing and addressing incidents of harm
    • Preventing harm:
      •  Invest in community outreach workers who work to address the needs of vulnerable community members by connecting them with job opportunities, mental health services, housing, etc.
      • Build a restorative justice (“RJ) infrastructure, made up of RJ centers, community organizations and community spaces where people can seek assistance when in need or experiencing conflict.
    • Addressing harm:
      • Develop a Community Hotline that residents can call to receive help in emergencies. This could be a single hotline or separate hotlines depending on the issue involved (e.g., the hotline for mental health crisis could be different than the hotline for escalating violent conflict).
      • Invest in teams of trained community crisis workers who can respond to calls coming into the hotline(s). The MH First program in Sacramento is an excellent example of a mental health response framework, as is the CAHOOTS program in Eugene. The Violence Interrupters program in Chicago is an example of a program that provides critical intervention and ongoing support in situations of violent conflict.[27] 
      • Make police officers, to the extent that they continue to exist as such, the last line of response, not the first line of response.

With funding, these ideas could become pilot projects and with a lot of work and continuous improvement, pilot projects could become effective community practices. Key in the process though is that community members themselves have the power to envision and create the safety measures that they need.[28] A one-size-fits-all approach will not be effective as local circumstances and communities’ desires differ.

What Examples of Reduced Policing Exist From Around the Country and the Globe?

Whether under pressure from settlements agreements, consent decrees, protests or public opinion, some cities around the country have implemented reforms that have reduced their reliance on traditional policing in response to mental health crises. However, the large majority of these reforms still rely on police to some degree. Whether those reforms can be used as seeds for new  models is yet to be seen. Here is a short list of examples:

  • Eugene, OR – model for community response to mental health calls involving police dispatch[29]
    • The CAHOOTS model, which has been in place for 30 years in Eugene, is a collaboration between local police and a community service crisis intervention clinic. Calls to 911 that involve mental health issues, behavioral disturbances, and more broadly non-legal matters are re-routed to the CAHOOTS response. A medic and a crisis worker respond, without police, to assess the situation and connect the individual with ongoing care if needed. Currently the team receives about 20% of calls to 911.
    • The CAHOOTS team is able to call for police backup if they cannot handle the situation. Out of 24,000 calls that they responded to in 2019, they called for police backup only in 150 of them.
    • The CAHOOTS model saves the cities of Eugene and Springfield an estimated $15 million in costs that would have been spent on police, EMTs, ER visits, and jail time. In 30 years, the CAHOOTS team has never been responsible for a series injury or death.
  • Sacramento, CA – innovative community-only response to mental health calls, in addition to expanded police-led response
    • APTP Sacramento recently launched MH First, a model for non-police response to mental health crisis.[30] The goal of MH First is to respond to mental health crises including, but not limited to, psychiatric emergencies, substance use disorder support, and domestic violence situations that require victim extraction. The team is made of mental health professionals and a security member who can support and keep police away.
    • The Sacramento Police Department started three new teams, which members of the public or other patrol officers can call on:[31]
      • Mental health unit responds to behavioral or mental health emergencies
      • Impact team responds to emergencies associated with homelessness
      • Hospital team responds to the needs of people in Kaiser and Sutter emergency rooms
      • According to the Sacramento Police Department, officers connect people to over 50 organizations that offer counseling services, shelter and housing, suicide prevention, health clinics, older adult services, self-help guidance and more.
  • Oakland, CA – multiple examples of community solutions to crime and harm
    • The Anti-Police Terror Project (“APTP”)[32] and Community Ready Corps[33] have been creating a community safety network that includes support for victims of police violence, non-police security for community events, jail and bail support for activists, as well as broader violence prevention work.
    • APTP is launching an MH First program in Oakland, similar to the MH First program in Sacramento (see above).
    • The Oakland City Council commissioned an implementation report by the Urban Strategies Council on creating a pilot project in Oakland to begin in July 2020, called Mobile Assistance Community Responders of Oakland (MACRO). The pilot will be similar to the CAHOOTS model in that calls to 911 that involve mental health issues will be diverted to a community team. The pilot will respond to a broad range of non-criminal crises, including dispute resolution, non-emergency medical care, transportation to services, and problems related to homelessness, intoxication, disorientation, substance abuse, and mental illness.
    • Critical Resistance, a national abolitionist organization with a local chapter, has been leading the Oakland Power Projects,[34] a model for engaging residents in identifying existing harms, amplifying resources, and developing new practices that do not rely on policing. Some communities, including faith-based organizations, have made collective commitments to not call the police.
  • Dallas, TX – example of mixed police-mental health crisis response[35]
    • Partnership between paramedics, police officers, and mental health professionals to respond as a single coordinated team to safely and effectively manage patients experiencing behavioral emergencies.
    • Behavioral-related calls will be responded to by a team of three members: a specially trained police office, paramedic and behavioral health specialist.
    • This partnership was used in only a few communities in the Dallas area. In communities covered by this new program, the number of patients seeking psychological care at the local emergency rooms decreased by 20%, while other communities saw a 30% rise over the same period. This likely indicates that the team of responders played a positive role in assisting the individual who was experiencing a behavioral health emergency, by either preventing the need to go to the emergency room at the time of the call or in the future because of the same emergency.
  • Camden, NJ –  not a model at all, addressed here as a cautionary tale[36]
    • City dissolved its police force and police union and was replaced with the county police force. This change has led to more police officers on duty.
    • Camden has recently been identified as one example of a city that abolished and defunded its police force. While it certainly fits within that category, the act of simply replacing the city police with county police did not substantively adjust the police presence or scope in Camden. Camden is an example of why both sides of the divest/invest demand are crucial to the movement’s ultimate goals.
  • Sunnyvale, CA – an example of a police response that is more integrated[37]
    • The department of public safety trains officers to provide services of fire, police, and emergency medical services. Each officer is required to be trained and proficient in each service and is constantly prepared to provide services when emergencies arise in either sector.
    • There is evidence that this practice has reduced the cost to residents but we found no data comparing crime rates, arrest rates or use of force rates pre- and post-implementation of this practice.

In considering the role and scope of police in the United States, it is helpful to compare U.S. practices with those of other countries. The U.S. spends more on “domestic public-safety programs” than virtually all of its peer nations while it spends a lot less on critical social programs.[38] The U.S. murder rates is higher than the average internationally and four times the rate of Canada.[39] The number of rapes, robberies and injuries from firearms are also much higher as are deaths in the hands of police. In England and Wales 55 people were killed by police in the last 24 years,[40] while in the U.S. on average 1000 people die in the hands of police per year.[41]

A brief review of police practices from other countries lends support to the claim that communities can remain safe without large, militarized police forces:[42]

  • European Standard for Use of Deadly Force – An officer may use deadly force only if it’s absolutely necessary in order to achieve a legitimate law enforcement purpose. In contrast, the U.S. allows police officers to use deadly force if there’s a reasonable perception of a grave and imminent threat.
  • Spain – Officers are required to fire a warning shot, then aim for a non-vital body part before resorting to lethal shooting.
  • Finland – In order to respond to gun violence by shooting, officers are required to receive permission from a superior officer.
    • As of 2006, Finland experienced 0.034 annual fatal police shootings per million residents. In contrast, the U.S. had a rate of 3.42.
  • Norway – Police are required to undergo three years of training, as opposed to an average of 19 weeks in the U.S.
    • As of 2018, Norway experienced 0.0 annual fatal police shootings per million residents compared to the U.S.’ rate of 3.35.
  • New Zealand – Police are not armed during routine work.
    • As of 2018, New Zealand experienced 2.0 annual fatal police shootings per million residents compared to the U.S.’ rate of 3.35.

What Are Some Recent Victories in the Campaigns to Defund the Police?

As activists unite behind the Defund Movement and push for systemic change, some cities are starting to take measures to reduce or dismantle their police departments. What follows is a partial list of recent commitments, promises, and ordinances, shared with the understanding that new information emerges every day:

  • Minneapolis – On June 12, the City Council passed a resolution to pursue a community-led public safety system to replace the police department through a year-long analysis.[43]
    • On June 2, the Minneapolis school board voted unanimously to terminate its contract with the Minneapolis Police Department for SROs.[44]
  •  Portland – On June 9, the Mayor set the following goals:[45]
    • Divert $12 million from the police bureau to directly support communities of color
    • Defund three police units including the gun violence reduction team
    • Ban officers from using chokeholds
    • Remove city police officers from Portland Public High Schools
    • Make the Portland Committee on Community-Engaged Policing a permanent community oversight body
    • Make cases of intentional discrimination by police officers subject to formal action
  • San Francisco – On June 11, the Mayor set the following goals:[46]
    • Remove police officers from responding to “issues like disputes between neighbors, reports about homeless people and school discipline interventions.”
    • Ban the use of military-grade weapons, including tear gas, bayonets and tanks, against unarmed civilians.
    • Change the “police department’s hiring, promotional, training, and disciplinary systems, and redirect funding to invest in marginalized communities.”
  • West Contra Costa School Board – On June 10, the West Contra Costa school board voted unanimously to cancel the district’s contracts with local police departments for SROs and reallocate $1.5 million to educational programs for African American students.[47]
  • Denver – On June 11, the Denver School Board voted unanimously to terminate their contract for school police.[48]

What Are Some Current Local and Statewide Demands?

In Oakland, the Anti-Police Terror Project (“APTP”) has been organizing for years for civilian oversight of the Oakland Police Department (“OPD”) and its ultimate abolition. Defund OPD, a committee of APTP, is currently demanding that the City: (1) reduce OPD’s allocation from the General Fund by 50%;[49] (2) disallow unauthorized overtime for OPD officers; (3) invest in  housing, jobs, youth programs, restorative justice, mental health workers and other services that actually keep our communities safe.[50] Currently OPD’s budget is around $330 million, nearly 45% of the City’s entire budget.[51]

Also in Oakland, since 2011 the Black Organizing Project has been organizing for police-free schools: for eliminating the Oakland School Police Department by 2020, reorganizing the campus safety and security program under the Department of Equity or Behavioral Health, reinvesting OSPD funds into hiring more mental health and behavioral specialists in schools, and establishing a community oversight committee to review parent/student complaints about law enforcement interactions.[52]

Community organizations in Los Angeles are advocating for reductions in the funding allocated to the Los Angeles Police Department (“LAPD”). Currently, the LAPD’s operating budget is in excess of $1.8 billion, with total spending exceeding $3.1 billion. While the city council has proposed to reduce this funding by $150 million, activists have called for even steeper reductions. Organizations, including PeoplesBudgetLA and Black Lives Matter – LA, seek to reallocate some of this funding towards low-income housing and services for unhoused peoples, mental health services, public schools, and investments benefitting Black communities.

In the state legislature, the most ambitious piece of legislation is AB 2054 by Assemblymember Kamlager-Dove. The C.R.I.S.E.S. Act will establish a 3-year pilot program that would fund community organizations who are responding to emergency situations involving people experiencing a public health crisis, people who are unhoused, people experiencing a mental health crisis, people exposed to intimate partner or community violence, people experiencing substance abuse, and people involved in natural or climate disasters.[53]

Continuing to Learn and Build a Path Forward Together

The deep structural racism inherent in policing is becoming more visible to and less tolerated by a broader portion of our society. The Movement for Black Lives has popularized the work of abolitionists and galvanized social attention around the demand to defund the police and invest in education, affordable housing, healthcare, and community solutions to preventing and addressing harm. We at Equal Justice Society are learning from the new models for public safety developing across the country and supporting the critical work of envisioning safety beyond policing and justice beyond punishment.

[1] See also,  Andrea J. Ritchie, Mariame Kaba and Woods Ervin, “#DefundPolice Toolkit,”  Interrupting Criminalization and M4BL, 2020,

[2] Angela Davis and others use the term “abolition feminism” to signify a break with “carceral feminism” and the predominant call within the feminist movement for stricter laws and lengthier sentences for perpetrators of sexual and gender-based violence. See “Angela Davis on Abolition, Calls to Defund Police, Toppled Racist Statutes & Voting in 2020 Election,” Democracy Now!, June 12, 2020,

[3] Haymarket Books, “On the Road With Abolition: Assessing Our Steps Along the Way,” Youtube, June 12, 2020,

[4] See id.

[5] Mariame Kaba, “Yes, We Mean Literally Abolish the Police,” New York Times, June 12, 2020,

[6] See Haymarket Books, “On the Road With Abolition: Assessing Our Steps Along the Way,” Youtube, June 12, 2020,

[7] See James Baldwin, “A Report From Occupied Territory,” The Nation, 11 July 1966, (“The police are simply the hired enemies of this population. They are present to keep the Negro in his place and to protect white business interests, and they have no other function.”).

[8] For example, the 1994 Federal Crime Bill allocated $10.8 billion for programs to support state and local law enforcement. Clifton Curry, “The Federal Crime Bill: What Will It Mean for California?,” State of California Legislative’s Analyst’s Office, Sept. 27, 1994,; See Lauren-Brooke Eisen, “The 1994 Crime Bill and Beyond: How Federal Funding Shapes the Criminal Justice System,” Brennan Center for Justice, Sept. 9, 2019,

[9] See Christopher Ingraham, “U.S. Spends Twice as Much on Law and Order as It Does on Cash Welfare, Data Show,” Washington Post, June 4, 2020,

[10] “Understanding Police Enforcement,” Vera Institute of Justice,; see also Brad Kava, “Top10 Types of Police Calls for Service,” Patch, Jan. 13, 2013, (identifying the top 10 types of calls to the Santa Cruz Police Department:: (1) Proactive Policing (proactive enforcement, extra checks, foot patrols, park checks, etc); (2) Suspicious Person and Activity; (3) Traffic (collisions, hit & run, traffic control); (4) Disturbances (fights or pending fights, arguments); (5) Trespassing; (6) Medical Call Requiring Police Presence; (7) Noise Disturbances (loud music, parties); (8) Illegal Camping; (9) Public Intoxication; (10) Drug Activity).

[11] See Haymarket Books, “On the Road With Abolition: Assessing Our Steps Along the Way,” Youtube, June 12, 2020,

[12] Almost immediately following George Floyd’s death, the demand to defund began gaining popular support. See McHarris, Phillip V. & Thenjiwe McHarris, “No More Money for Police,” Opinion, New York Times,May 30, 2020,; “Defund the Police: Linda Sarsour & Mychal Denzel Smith on What Meaningful Change Would Look Like,”. Democracy Now!, June 8, 2020, (“All we’re saying is, decrease their budget, take that money and reappropriate it into youth, seniors, community development, and with a focus on those who have been the most directly impacted, focused on communities of color, poor working-class people.”); The End of Policing: Alex Vitale on How Cops & Their Unions Cover Up Inequality, Exploitation,” Democracy Now!, June 8, 2020, (Defunding means “concretely identifying police spending that could be shifted into specific, targeted community interventions that will actually produce public safety without coercion, violence and racism.”).

[13] Reclaim the Block petitioned the Minneapolis City Council to cut MPD funding, refuse to ever increase MPD’s budget, and fund alternatives to policing. Aaron Ross Coleman, “Minneapolis May Be the First City to Dismantle the Police,” Vox, June 8, 2020,

[14] “We demand investments in the education, health and safety of Black people, instead of investments in the criminalizing, caging, and harming of Black people. We want investments in Black communities, determined by Black communities, and divestment from exploitative forces including prisons, fossil fuels, police, surveillance and exploitative corporations.” “Invest-Divest,” M4BL,

[15] ACLU has put out a petition to call for divestment from police and investment in Black and Brown communities. “Divest From the Police. Invest in Black and Brown Communities,” ACLU,  (

[16] “It’s time to divest from racist policing and invest in communities targeted by police.” Jewish Voice for Peace, Twitter,

[17] “Defund the Police: Linda Sarsour & Mychal Denzel Smith on What Meaningful Change Would Look Like,”. Democracy Now!, June 8, 2020,

[18]  Mariame Kaba, “Summer Heat,” The New Inquiry, June 8, 2015, (“On the way to abolition, we can take a number of intermediate steps to shrink the police force and to restructure our relationships with each other.”).

[19] “Reformist Reforms vs. Abolitionist Steps in Policing,” Critical Resistance, (distinguishing between abolitionist reforms and reformist reforms).

[20] Justice in Policing Act of 2020, H.R. 7120, 116th Congress,

[21] See “8 to Abolition,” (“Reforms that do not reduce the power of the police–including those proposed by 8 Can’t Wait–simply create new opportunities to surveil, police, and incarcerate Black, brown, indigenous, poor, disabled, trans, gender oppressed, queer, migrant people, and those who work in street economies. We believe in a world where there are zero police murders because there are zero police.”).

[22] See “Police ‘Reforms’ You Should Always Oppose…” Prison Culture, Dec. 1, 2014,

[23] See “#8toAbolition,”

[24] Id.

[25] Id.

[26] See Yoana Tchoukleva, “Re-Imagining Oakland: Building the First Restorative City in the Country”, LinkedIn, March 2018,

[27] Violence interrupter programs have been successful in Chicago, Brooklyn, New Orleans, and Baltimore. In Baltimore, for example, the four program sites saw reductions in killings of up to 56%. See “Our Impact,” Cure Violence,

[28] In Portland, Care Not Cops Portland “was founded in 2017 to reduce the violence of policing and build up community care.” Care Not Cops,

[29]“CAHOOTS: How Social Workers and Police Share Responsibilities in Eugene, Oregon,” National Public Radio June 10, 2020,; Anna V. Smith, “There’s Already an Alternative to Calling the Police,” High Country News, June 11, 2020,

[30] Anti-Police Terror Project,

[31] Erik Fay, “Police Department Creates Mental Health Unit to Provide for Those in Need,” Sierra Curtis Neighborhood Association, Dec. 15, 2019,

[32] Learn more about APTP at

[33] Learn more about Community Ready Corps at

[34] Learn more about the Oakland Power Projects at

[35] Texas State of Mind, “Dallas Launches Coordinated Response Program for Behavioral Health Calls,” The Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute, Jan. 22, 2018,; Lucas Manfield, “Dallas Has Been Dispatching Social Working to Some 911 Calls. It’s Working,” Dec. 10, 2019,

[36] Creede Newton, “Is Camden NJ a Model for Change in US Police Forces? Yes and No,” Al Jazeera, June 10, 2020,

[37] Kai Ryssdal & Bennett Purser, “How One City Provides Public Safety Without a Police Department,” Marketplace, June 10, 2020,

[38] Annie Lowrey, “Defund the Police,” The Atlantic, June 5, 2020

[39] See id.

[40] See id.

[41] See “#8toAbolition,”

[42] Olivia Goldhill, “How Do Police Handle Violence in Countries Where Officers Don’t Carry Guns?,” Quartz, July 9, 2016,; “Why Do Americans Cops Kill So Many Compared to European Cops?,” The Conversation, Nov. 25, 2015,; Alexi Jones & Wendy Sawyer, “Not Just ‘A Few Bad Apples’: U.S. Police Kill Civilians at Much Higher Rates Than Other Countries,” Prison Policy Initiative, June 5, 2020,

[43] Gabriella Borter & Alistair Bell, “Minneapolis City Council Resolves to Replace Police with Community-Led Model,” Reuters, June 12, 2020,,

[44] Ryan Faircloth, “Minneapolis Public Schools Terminates Contract with Police Department Over George Floyd’s Death,” Star Tribune, June 2, 2020,

[45] Everton Bailey Jr., “Portland Mayor Pledges to Divert Millions from Police Bureau, Ban Chokeholds in City Reforms,” The Oregonian, June 9, 2020,

[46] Mallika Kallingal, “San Francisco Mayor Unveils Plan for Police Reform,” CNN, June 12, 2020,

[47] Theresa Harrington & Ali Tadayon, “Two Bay Area School Boards Support Eliminating Police on Campus,” EdSource, June 11, 2020,,resource%20officers%2C%20or%20campus%20police.

[48] Dominic Garcia, “DPS Board of Education Votes Unanimously to Remove Denver Police from Schools,” CBSDenver, June 11, 2020,,-By%20Dominic%20Garcia&text=DENVER%20(CBS4)%E2%80%93%20In%20a,with%20the%20Denver%20Police%20Department.

[49] “Facts & Figures,” Defund OPD,

[50] See id.

[51] See id.

[52] Learn more about the Black Organizing Project at

[53] See Community Response Initiative to Strengthen Emergency Systems Act, AB-2054, California Legislature,