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SIGN: Time to Defund Police & Invest in Black Communities

A Letter to Demand Divestment from Police and an Investment in Black Communities

Black communities across the nation are mourning the deaths of George Floyd, tortured to death by Minneapolis police, Ahmaud Arbery, a jogger who was killed while running in a residential neighborhood in Brunswick, Georgia, Breonna Taylor an EMT killed while asleep in her bed in Louisville,KY, Dreasjon Reed in Indianapolis and Tony McDade in Tallahassee. Their names are added to a devastatingly long list of Black people who have been killed at the hands of vigilantes or law enforcement. Not to mention the others whose names we don’t yet know, and may never know since they were killed without a camera recording it.

At the same time, the United States leads the world in COVID-19 cases. So far, more than 100,000 people — enough to fill a football stadium– have perished from the virus,with over one million cases confirmed, and those numbers don’t reflect all the people dying from virus-related illnesses. Black people are suffering disproportionately from COVID-19, four times more likely to die than their white neighbors. 

It is important to state this within the context of the scourge of anti-Black police terror and the resulting uprisings taking place across the U.S. 

The COVID-19 deaths and the deaths caused by police terror are connected and consequential to each other. 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. 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 US Pandemic Response Team in 2018, citing “costs”. 

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. 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 percent 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.

Where could that money go? It could go towards building healthy communities, to the health of our elders and children,to neighborhood infrastructure, to education, to childcare, to support a vibrant Black future. The possibilities are endless. 

We join in solidarity with the freedom fighters in Minneapolis, Louisville, and across the United States. And we call for the end to police terror. 

JOIN US IN DEMANDING YOUR LOCAL OFFICIALS TAKE THE PLEDGE TO: 

  1. Vote no on all increases to police budgets 
  2. Vote yes to decrease police spending and budgets 
  3. Vote yes to increase spending on Health care, education and community programs that keep us safe.

Add Your Name:

DEMAND YOUR LOCAL OFFICIALS TAKE THE PLEDGE TO: 

  1. Vote no on all increases to police budgets 
  2. Vote yes to decrease police spending and budgets 
  3. Vote yes to increase spending on Health care, education and community programs that keep us safe. 

*I want to receive mobile alerts from Movement for Black Lives. Msg & data rates may apply. Text stop to 90975 to stop receiving messages. Text HELP to 90975 for more information. Terms & Conditions

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Thank you for signing:
John Legend
Boogie
America
G Herbo
Taraji P. Henson
Yara Shahidi
Megalyn Echikunwoke 
dream hampton
Jude Demorest 
Kendrick Sampson
Blair Imani
Jane Fonda
Chesa Boudin
Behzad Dabu
Darnell Moore 
Jurnee Smollet-Bell
Lauren Halsey 
Shaun King 
Dawn-Lyen Gardner 
Megan Rapinoe
Natalie Portman 
Jameela Jamil
Lizzo
Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye
Ashlee Marie Preston 
Talib Kweli 
Charlie Puth
Angela Davis
Common 
OBM Blood Bath
Tory Lanez
Chris Martin (Coldplay)
Dakota Johnson
Amber P Riley
Anna Diop
JoJo
Sarunas Jackson
Diane Guerrero
Jurnee Smollet
Tessa Thompson
Christopher Graham
Rooney Mara
Joaquin Phoenix
Kate Mara
Sophia Bush
Amandla Stenberg
Keith Powers 
Kerry Washington
Chloe Moretz
Minka Kelly

 

 

Thank you for signing:

John Legend
Boogie
America
G Herbo
Taraji P. Henson
Yara Shahidi
Megalyn Echikunwoke 
dream hampton
Jude Demorest 
Kendrick Sampson
Blair Imani
Jane Fonda
Chesa Boudin
Behzad Dabu
Darnell Moore 
Jurnee Smollet-Bell
Lauren Halsey 
Shaun King 
Dawn-Lyen Gardner 
Megan Rapinoe
Natalie Portman 
Jameela Jamil
Lizzo
Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye
Ashlee Marie Preston 
Talib Kweli 
Charlie Puth
Angela Davis
Common 
OBM Blood Bath
Tory Lanez
Chris Martin (Coldplay)
Dakota Johnson
Amber P Riley
Anna Diop
JoJo

Sarunas Jackson 
Diane Guerrero 
Jurnee Smollet

Tessa Thompson

Christopher Graham
Rooney Mara
Joaquin Phoenix
Kate Mara
Sophia Bush
Amandla Stenberg
Keith Powers
Kerry Washington
Chloe Moretz
Minka Kelly