Calls to “defund the police” were heard across the United States during summer protests following the death of African-American George Floyd in police custody on 25 May 2020. In Atlanta, Georgia, the violence and deaths prompted the deployment of National Guard troops across the city.
Georgia’s House of Representatives passed a bill Wednesday that would block cities and counties in the state from cutting police budgets by more than 5 percent in comparison to the previous year, the AP reported.
The bill was almost entirely resisted by the Democratic party but three Dems – Reps. Mesha Mainor of Atlanta, Patty Bentley of Butler and Mike Glanton of Jonesboro – have sided with Republicans, voting in favour of the bill. All GOP members hailed the legislation.
It will now go to the Georgia Senate for further debate. The state’s upper house holds a 34-22 Republican majority.
If the Georgia Senate approves the bill and it will be enacted into law, local governments will also be prohibited from “defunding” the police by more than 5 percent over a “rolling ten-year period”, it says. There are some exemptions to the proposal – cities and counties will be allowed to make over-five-percent cuts if local revenues are expected to fall by more than a set number or if they have less than 10 officers overall. Cities should be able to guarantee a solid level of protection for their citizens – in this case, they would be allowed to abolish their police forces, the…