Updated Jun 8, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Black Lives Matter demonstrators driving change in policing policies

Demonstrators face off with law enforcement personnel near the Seattle Police Departments East Precinct on June 6, 2020 in Seattle
Demonstrators face off with law enforcement personnel near the Seattle Police Departments East Precinct in Seattle on June 6. Photo: David Ryder/Getty Images

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio pledged on Sunday reforms and cuts for the first time to police funds and Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced plans for a major shake-up of the city's policing.

Why it matters: These are the latest examples of Black Lives Matter protesters driving changes in policing policies after almost two weeks of nationwide demonstrations that began over the death of George Floyd and other African Americans in custody.

What's happening: In Minnesota, where Floyd died on May 25, a veto-proof majority of nine members of the Minneapolis City Council signed a pledge at a rally on Sunday to begin the process of dismantling the Minneapolis Police Department as it currently exists.

  • In New York City, De Blasio said Sunday he would divert policing funds to social services, with the details being announced before the July 1 budget deadline, per the New York Times.
  • In Seattle, Durkan, announced on Friday a 30-day ban on city police using tear gas.
  • On Sunday night, she committed to policing reforms including issuing an emergency order on Monday requiring officers turn on body cameras during public protests and a review of crowd dispersal tactics, chemicals, and de-escalation techniques.
  • Durkan also called for an independent state prosecutor to investigate and prosecute officers who use deadly force and she committed to identifying "at least $100 million to invest further in community-based programs that invest in Black youth and adults, including employment programs, Black-owned businesses and programs that provide alternatives to arrest and incarceration."

Go deeper ... Vox: Park Police call it a "mistake" to insist tear gas wasn't used in Lafayette Square

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details on the new announcements on policing reforms.

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