Elitist celebrities like soccer star Megan Rapinoe, actress Jane Fonda, and singer John Legend have come together to sign a letter demanding that American police departments be defunded.
The petition being circulated by Hollywood calls for the U.S. government to decrease spending on police departments while putting more money into healthcare and education. Other celebrities who have signed the petition include Common, the Weeknd, Lizzo, and ACLU executive director Anthony Romero.
— John Legend (@johnlegend) June 3, 2020
“The COVID-19 deaths and the deaths caused by police terror are connected and consequential to each other,” the petition reads. “The United States does not have a national healthcare system. Instead, we have the largest military budget in the world, and some of the most well-funded and militarized police departments in the world, too.”
“Policing and militarization overwhelmingly dominate the bulk of national and local budgets,” the petition added. “In fact, police and military funding has increased every single year since 1973, and at the same time, funding for public health decreased every year, crystallized most recently when the Trump administration eliminated the U.S. Pandemic Response Team in 2018, citing ‘costs.’”
The petition concluded with a summary of its three major points: “Vote no on all increases to police budgets” and “Vote yes to decrease police spending and budgets” and “Vote yes to increase spending on Health care, Education, and Community programs that keep us safe,” it delineated.
John Legend, Common, Lizzo, the Weeknd and Talib Kweli have signed an open letter calling for the defunding of police to spend more on education and healthcare https://t.co/9g6Oa2hgOO pic.twitter.com/Um2tiI2WpF
— Rolling Stone (@RollingStone) June 2, 2020
This petition is a direct response to the death of George Floyd, who died in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota last week. While his death was undoubtedly a tragedy, defunding police departments across the nation is not the answer to bringing him justice. We as a society depend on police officers to keep us safe, and defunding them or abolishing them would only result in total anarchy, and more lives being lost.