DC Councilmember Charles Allen called for reducing the proposed budget of the police department by $15 million in the wake of the launching of “Defund the Police” campaign by local racial justice activists.
The Ward 6 Councilmember’s proposal includes cutting around $6 million in vacant jobs and a proposed $2 million expansion of the police cadet program, as well as having DC Police Chief Peter Newsham reviewed by the Council a year earlier than planned as to whether he should keep his office.
Back in May, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser proposed increasing Metropolitan Police Department’s (MPD) budget by 3.3 percent for fiscal year 2021, which would mean $45 million of additional funding for the Department. The money is intended for replacing police cruisers, motorcycles, and other vehicles used by DC officers.
Bowser’s budget proposal for MPD was met with criticism from local activists. A group of protesters marched from MPD Headquarters to the Department of Justice in early June.
The group stopped at the Wilson Building and handed their letters calling on councilmembers to oppose the MPD funding to a security guard to be given to DC councilmembers.
The DC Council recently introduced new proposals for extended police accountability and transparency in the District, including a prohibition of officers from using the practice known as “chokeholds.”
“The Comprehensive Policing and Justice Reform Emergency Act” was announced by Allen while protesters were on the streets of the District on their seventh day following the police custody killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, in Minneapolis.
The legislation also requires improving access to body-worn camera video recordings and banning officers from reviewing their own body-worn camera footage.