Letter: Stop the Police Funding Protection Act

Graphic by Lori Deaton

State Sen. Chuck Edwards has introduced Senate Bill 100, the Police Funding Protection Act, which would cause local governments to lose state funding if they transfer more than 1% of current funding from police or sheriff’s departments to social services that would prevent crime. Senate Bill 101 calls for all sheriffs to work with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, leading to deportations. Buncombe County Sheriff Quentin Miller has pledged not to work with them, which gladdened the hearts of many, including myself, who want to see an end to deportations and a more humane immigration policy.

Following the murders of George Floyd and countless others at the hands of brutal and racist police, we’ve heard calls around the nation to “reimagine the police.” Many cities are now reallocating funds from bloated police departments to underfunded social services that help to alleviate homelessness, mental illness and substance abuse.

For example, in Austin, Texas, the police budget was cut by one-third; $6.5 million of that was spent to purchase a hotel to house 60 homeless people safely with dignity. New York City cut $1 billion from its police department and reinvested $354 million in services for the mentally ill and homeless, as well as for education. In Minneapolis, $8 million was cut from the police budget and invested in mental health crisis response teams and violence prevention.

Services such as these reduce the need for law enforcement, provide humane assistance and improve quality of life for marginalized people. Shouldn’t crime prevention be the goal? Please urge your state senator to vote no on SB 100 and SB 101!

— Cathy Holt


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22 thoughts on “Letter: Stop the Police Funding Protection Act

  1. Liam

    Haven’t all of those cities that you mention seen huge increases in crime as a result of the budget cuts? I believe Minneapolis reinstated the police budget because of the rise in crime. Gun sales in Minneapolis have skyrocketed because of fears of violent crime. How many blacks are killed by police versus other blacks? The media never seem to provide such data. If a black person is killed by a black police officer, is that considered a racist murder? Wasn’t Asheville recently ranked among the top 10% for violent crime cities? Maybe Asheville police seem rather ruthless from your view in Swannanoa but as a resident of downtown Asheville, I’d like to see a greater police presence, especially those officers walking the streets rather than driving through.

    • James

      Comparing Black violence against Black victims to Police Officer violence against Black victims is NOT the point. Police aren’t supposed to be killing ANY unarmed victims. And when they DO kill unarmed Black victims there are no judicial consequences. When a Black perp attacks or kills a Black victim and they are caught they are prosecuted.

      Police shouldn’t be killing ANYONE because their job description does not include judge, jury and executioner. People like you give bad cops the idea they CAN do that. Stop it. Asheville cops trashed a medic station because they were “trespassing.” They didn’t seek “voluntary compliance” like they do with those who refuse to wear masks. How many people have been hospitalized or died from water bottles and bandages compared to Covid? People like you are the problem.

      • indy499

        Your argument loses strength with the tiresome big medical station water incident. Move along.

    • Mari Demauro

      So I believe that many of crimes lately have been to Covid and businesses being closed. And not from the defunding the police.

    • Xiden lost, we all know it.

      You do realize George Floyd died from a drug overdose. Maybe you should do some research instead of leftist talking points.

        • Dopamina

          Try doing what he does and just make wild unsourced statements :D

          The universe is only 5 minutes old and revolves around me.
          Water is not wet, it is just really slippery.
          Trumpists respect the Constitution.

      • Dopamina

        Do you intentionally make outlandish unsourced claims like this? Or are you just brainwashed into thinking that everyone else is brainwashed and you have the inside scoop?

        Let me try! :D

        The sky is pink and made of cheese, prove me wrong!
        Grass is green because it wants to be!
        Trump won the election fair and square!

        Wow, that is kinda fun…

      • Enlightened Enigma

        And they just ‘awarded’ his family with $28 MILLION ! Fentanyl PAYS !!!

  2. Stan Hawkins

    You have to ask yourself why the author of this piece does not provide statistics on crime rate during the period and in the cities referenced? Why should we listen to anybody not willing to state the facts?

  3. Chris

    The number of homicides in Austin in 2020 is 54% higher than 2019, according to data from the United States Attorney’s Office.
    So how’s that defunding going? Maybe your should do some research about the places who defunded the police before you take the time to write a letter.

    • bsummers

      Funny thing about research – sometimes it doesn’t serve your agenda. The “reconfiguration” of police funds in Austin had nothing to do with a higher homicide rate. Austin Police Lt. in charge of homicide:

      He also said that the Homicide, Aggravated Assault and Robbery units have not lost any resources as a result of the City of Austin’s decision to reconfigure APD’s budget.

      “I will say that as far as the 2020 numbers, we saw a rise in violent crime in the very early months in 2020 before the reimaging and the defunding conversations came up. So, those sorts of things were happening already,” Greenwalt said. “The vote happened mid-year and we’re still in the process, and some units have not been reallocated yet. So, I don’t think we can say that the numbers in 2020 are reflective of that issue.”

      • Steve Wright

        “So I don’t think we can say ….”So he isn’t sure.?! Great response. Your drive by comments are getting lazy, Summers. Almost every city who’s been anti cop, Asheville included, is seeing crime increase. Sorry these racist facts hurt your progressive feelings. Bet this comment won’t get posted because this paper is junk.

      • indy499

        Funny thing about finding 1 “fact” to support your assertion and passing it off as definitive, What do you think the lt. was going to say if he wanted to stay employed?

        The 54% is real.

        • bsummers

          Nobody said that the increase in homicides wasn’t real. Nice straw man. And it would probably be easy to track when they happened related to any funding changes. He said there wasn’t a connection. You’re ignoring it because it doesn’t support your narrative.

          • Paul T

            Seems like unless that man agrees with the city he will lose his job. And those are specialty units. Usually do most of their work after the crime. Just like a former police chief in Asheville. And his statement lacks confidence.

          • Xiden lost, we all know it.

            Yep, quoting a political appointee makes it unassailable fact! They never lie to keep their job…

          • bsummers

            Careful. You’re indicting Trump.

            Oh no, my buddy Trump wouldn’t lie to keep his job!!!

    • Sparkx

      Defunding law enforcement isn’t the answer. How about the black community taking responsibility for it’s own problem?

  4. Enlightened Enigma

    Totally support Sen. Edwards’ efforts to punish democrackkk led cities with no leadership in NC !!! Asheville is at the top of the list !!!

    • bsummers

      Um yeah, Fred Caudle… you mean punish them for cutting police funding, or just punish them for electing Democrats? Cause I’m pretty sure it’s the latter…

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