A D.C. councilmember wants to remove $15 million from the Metropolitan Police Department’s budget, according to reports. Ward 6 councilman Charles Allen brought the proposal.
The proposal refers to the demonstrations against police brutality in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd.
“This is not going to be by any stretch a radical document, and it shouldn’t be,” Cheh said. “I don’t think we should act rashly. The fact that you get hundreds of emails should not dictate what you do. What should dictate what you do should be your consideration of what the data are, what the likely effects would be.”
Allen wants to retroactively impose a four-year term on the office of the chief of police, meaning the mayor would have to decide whether to reappoint Newsham next year, and lawmakers would have the final say in whether he can keep his job. The council approved Newsham for the post serving at the pleasure of the mayor in a 12-to-1 vote in 2017.
As protests have roiled the city in recent weeks, Bowser has resisted calls to defund police, noting that social service agencies in her government have seen more significant increases to their budgets under her tenure than the police department has.
“We will continue our dialogue with the members of the committee and the community to ensure they understand the full impact of these actions,” Donahue said.
“There is concern that the Council is basing their budget decisions on a small percentage of the community that has been very vocal with anti-police rhetoric and that this could negatively impact the safety of our communities,” said Newsham spokesman.
The chief has warned that a smaller and less-funded force could hamper efforts to reduce crime and endanger training that he says ultimately reduces police misconduct.