I just witnessed a 300-person Zoom call between about 14 city councilors and supporters of defunding the Newton police. The call was organized and run by people who’ve graduated from the Newton schools in the past several years. Speakers of color talked about their fears of Newton police and racism in the schools.
You should absolutely watch this if you want to understand what is meant by, “Defund the Police.” I am not even coming close to relaying the points made during the call.
A couple of teasers from people of color::
A 2019 graduate of Newton North: “I think that Newton has a serious problem and a serious disconnect between the values of inclusion, diversity, equity that it espouses and the actions it takes.”
“We have a chance to live up to the values we espouse…to defund the police and allocate those funds towards resources that would get to the root cause of the problems.”
Another 2019 North graduate:: “You can not condemn the actions of the police in Minneapolis and think yourselves separate from them here as you continue to increase the police budget and refuse to make viable investments in our community. Hiring five more officers is not what will make me feel safe.”
Here’s what they’re asking for:
- No new police cruisers
- No new hires and no recruitment. We oppose the hiring of five new patrol officers proposed for $272,740)
- Defund the Newton Police Department by at least 10% in the FY21 budget and develop a plan for reallocating resources towards community solutions
- Transfer mental health, addiction, and social services jobs to health and human services and education departments
- Require community review of police union negotiations