BLM protesters seek police reform

Elizabeth Watson

Systemic racism continues to be an ongoing topic of discussion affecting millions of Americans daily. After the tragic deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, there has been an uproar regarding police brutality. As a result of these deaths, there has been a spike in participation towards the Black Lives Matter Movement. BLM has wildly spiked an interest in a call for police reform.  

According to New York Times, the amount of protests peaked on June 6, estimating half a million people in nearly 550 areas across the U.S. participating.  

Jocelyn Beltran, 20, of Doylestown, said, “There is a need to defund the police because there are things that need attention and funds, but the police hold the focus.”  

While many Americans are calling to defund the police, a reported 73 percent of Americans want police budgets left the same or increased. According to Fortune, “Forty-two percent say that spending on their local police should stay the same as it is now and thirty-one percent say that spending should be increased.”  

Julia Cullen, 18, of Doylestown, said, “Reform has happened in the past. It’s a huge step but I think that defunding is still necessary, and that corruption won’t just disappear”   

According to Washington Post, President Trump is “appalled” by the movement, according to White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany. To some critics, it sounds radical.   

Pauly Quinn, 20, of Warrington, said, “It will take a lot of time, but I think the first step to defunding the police is having community-based correction programs take over and use a lot of the money and resources being used by law enforcement.  

According to Statista, “U.S. police departments are still receiving astronomical percentage of discretionary funds compared to other crucial community programs. Police budgets remain high in 2020, ranging from 20 to 45 percent of discretionary funding in major metropolitan areas.”  

A common concern is that defunding the police could result in more crime. According to CNN, “Those seeking to disband police consider defunding an initial step toward creating an entirely different model of community-led public safety.”   

Many major companies such as: Ben and Jerry’s, Target, Microsoft, Google and Bank of America are in full support of defunding the police.   

With protest showing no signs of ending anytime soon and major companies supporting the movement, police reform seems to not fully be off or on the table.