Hollywood stars want to see less money going to police and more money going to communities.
According to Variety, Lizzo, John Legend, Taraji P. Henson, Natalie Portman, Jane Fonda, ACLU executive director Anthony Romero, and others have signed an open letter titled “#DefundPolice” demanding the end of huge increases in police budgets.
“Black communities are living in persistent fear of being killed by state authorities like police, immigration agents, or even white vigilantes who are emboldened by state actors,” the letter states. “According to the Urban Institute, in 1977, state and local governments spent $60 billion on police and corrections. In 2017, they spent $194 billion. A 220 per cent increase. Despite continued profiling, harassment, terror and killing of Black communities, local and federal decision-makers continue to invest in the police, which leaves Black people vulnerable and our communities no safer.”
As for what could be done with the funds, the letter suggests, “It could go towards building healthy communities, to the health of our elders and children, to neighbourhood infrastructure, to education, to childcare, to support a vibrant Black future. The possibilities are endless.”
The letter ends with the call, “Join us in demanding your local officials take the pledge to: Vote no on all increases to police budgets. Vote yes to decrease police spending and budgets. Vote yes to increase spending on Health care, Education, and Community programs that keep us safe.”
A number of stars have supported the cause on social media with the #DefundPolice hashtag, including country singer Orville Peck, Chance the Rapper and Emily Ratajkowski.
People are coming together to fix a broken system. The news are doing backflips to invalidate it right now. Remember that the system is designed to tire you out in times like this so just stay strong. #DefundThePolice
— Orville Peck (@orvillepeck) June 1, 2020
Defund the Police. Chop the tree down.
— Chance The Rapper (@chancetherapper) June 2, 2020
How many cops have resigned because their bosses ordered them to shoot rubber bullets and tear gas at unarmed civilians? #DefundPolice
— Emily Ratajkowski (@emrata) June 1, 2020
“It is our duty to fight for our freedom.
It is our duty to win.
We must love each other and support each other.
We have nothing to lose but our chains.”
-Assata Shakur#defundpolice #prosecutekillercops I fight for Breonna Taylor. pic.twitter.com/advgMaI9Eq
— Amber Patrice Riley (@MsAmberPRiley) May 31, 2020