5. The legacy of Defund the Police

Illustration of a woman wearing a defund the police face mask surrounded by x's and circles

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images

After George Floyd's death, protesters in the summer of 2020 shouted the slogan "defund the police" — a phrase rooted in a decades-old call for local governments to redirect money from police agencies to other forms of crime prevention.

  • The movement did force some cities to examine how to rethink police budgets, but nearly all major police reforms failed.
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