Updated: Jun 2
On the 1st anniversary of George Floyd’s murder, Sacramento was set for a discussion on the police budget at the 5/25 City Council Meeting
"We can't budget from a place of fear; we have to budget from a place that recognizes the root causes"- Councilmember Katie Valenzuela
Item #22 The Police Budget was sure to be a hot one!
George Floyd was a flash point that ignited a world-wide discussion about policing culture. Many cities have already reinvested their tax payer dollars into other community efforts as a way to reduce crime, police brutality, and public spending. And it’s working, CAHOOTS, an Oregon based police free emergency alternative, reports an estimated saving of 8.5 million per year. Public commenters paid their respects to George Flyod, and uplifted the over 1,000 people who have been killed by US Law enforcement since then, over 200 during traffic stops. Here in Sacramento we continue to give our police department more money each year, and shell out millions in brutality and wrongful death suits. On the 1st anniversary of George Flyod’s murder Sacramento was set for the discussion. This year Chief Hahn asked for $165.9 Million, a $9.4 million increase from 2021. He cited needs for more officers, more equipment, and $4 million in new cars. Boy did the conversation get SPICY
Councilmember Katie Valenzuela asked us to reimagine what public safety could look like. A city where needs are met, and acts of survival aren’t criminalized. Where we don’t need to call 911.
Councilmember Angelique Ashby said her constituents #1 concern is getting more police officers into their district. She says she gets regular calls asking for more police presence, especially for traffic violations.
This was a five hour meeting. We have compiled some key areas in this ten minute video with CM Valenzuela making her case, CM Ashby's response, and some spicy public comments.
The online comments were overwhelmingly demanding the city council oppose any funding increases, while those calling in were fairly mixed. City funded groups like Brother to Brother supported giving Chief Hanh more money, and Samuel Kinsey said the Black Chamber of Commerce agrees. The People’s Budget Sacramento, social workers, mental health professionals, and other community organizations all called in against the majority of our money going to the carceral system. The council will vote on June 15th.