Aug 14, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Austin to cut $150 million from police budget

People hold up signs outside Austin Police Department after a vigil for Garrett Foster
Photo: Sergio Flores/Getty Images

The Austin City Council unanimously moved to cut its police department budget by $150 million on Thursday, The Texas Tribune reports.

Why it matters: Austin is the first of Texas's four largest cities to slash its police funding, per the Tribune. The cut is also one of the biggest percentage decreases in the U.S. this year.

  • The vote comes after the city's police department faced criticism for the April killing of Mike Ramos, an unarmed Black and Hispanic man.
  • Local law enforcement has also been called out for its use of force against anti-police protesters following the killing of George Floyd.

The other side: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) on Twitter slammed Austin City Council's vote, writing: "Dems continue their assault on police. Why do they value radical politics more than your family’s safety?"

The budget cut amounts to about $21 million effective immediately. That mostly comes from canceling three coming cadet classes, The Washington Post reports.

  • The budget doesn't include any layoffs, but will cut unfilled positions.
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