What Would It Mean to Defund the Police?

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Demonstrators fill the intersection at 14th and Broadway in Oakland at a protest against police violence on June 3, 2020. (Beth LaBerge/KQED)

Protesters rallying against police brutality across the country are also calling to “defund police.” One idea is to divert money from police departments into social services that can prevent crime and address its causes. Proponents say cities need to radically overhaul their systems of policing after years of failed reform efforts. The mayors of San Francisco and Los Angeles say they support the idea. We dive into the concept of defunding police and overhauling law enforcement in America.


Nikki Jones, professor of African American studies, UC Berkeley; author, "The Chosen Ones: Black Men and the Politics of Redemption"

Christy Lopez, law professor, Georgetown University; former investigator, U.S. Department of Justice

Jacqueline Helfgott, professor and director, Crime & Justice Research Center at Seattle University