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Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza told NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday that growing calls to "defund the police" are not about eliminating police departments, but about reinvesting funds toward "the resources that our communities need."

Why it matters: Some activists say the only solution to fixing systemic issues in law enforcement is to defund and dramatically scale back police forces nationwide. But some Republicans, including President Trump, have seized on the politically charged slogan to paint Democrats as radicals.

  • Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser has faced backlash for debuting a "Black Lives Matter" mural on a city street on Friday while still proposing an increase to the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department's annual budget.
  • A day later, protesters painted their own message — "Defund the Police" — after Black Lives Matter D.C. accused Bowser of using the mural as a "performative distraction from real policy changes."
  • In Minneapolis, meanwhile, Mayor Jacob Frey was told by protesters to go home after he refused to commit to defunding the police department.

What she's saying: "So much of policing right now is generated and directed towards quality-of-life issues, homelessness, drug addiction, domestic violence," Garza said. "What we do need is increased funding for housing, we need increased funding for education, we need increased funding for quality of life of communities who are over-policed and over-surveilled."

  • "Are we willing to live in fear that our lives will be taken by police officers who are literally using their power in the wrong way, or are we willing to adopt and absorb the fear of what it might mean to change our practices, which will ultimately lead to a better quality of life for everyone."
  • "Seven years ago people thought that Black Lives Matter was a radical idea. And yet Black Lives Matter is now a household name and it's something being discussed across kitchen tables all over the world. Why can't we start to look at how it is that we reorganize our priorities so that people don't have to be in the streets protesting during a national pandemic?"

Go deeper

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
Sep 8, 2020 - Science

The hunt for dark matter expands

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The hunt for dark matter — the mysterious substance that makes up the majority of matter in the universe but hasn't been directly observed — is turning to new places and looking for new candidates.

The big picture: Regular matter — the stuff that makes up you, me and everything we know and see out in the universe — is only 15% of the total matter in the universe.

45 million Americans under winter storm watches near New England

Computer model projection showing the winds moving around the powerful East Coast storm on Saturday Jan. 29, 2022. Image: https://earth.nullschool.net

Nearly 45 million Americans are under winter weather alerts and warnings from North Carolina to northeastern Maine Thursday night, as a major winter storm threatens the region.

Why it matters: It is predicted to be the biggest blizzard since 2018 to strike the Northeast with more than 2 feet of snow possible in parts of eastern Massachusetts, according to the National Weather Service.

Judge nixes Gulf of Mexico oil leases in climate-focused ruling

Tug boats prepare to tow the semi-submersible drilling platform Noble Danny Adkins through the Port Aransas Channel into the Gulf of Mexico on December 12, 2020 in Port Aransas, Texas. Photo: Tom Pennington/Getty Images

A federal judge on Thursday canceled the Biden administration's late 2021 sale of new oil-and-gas drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico.

Why it matters: The ruling that the greenhouse gas emissions analysis by the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) was insufficient is a win for green groups that challenged the decision, as they seek to curb fossil fuel production.