It appears that Shaun King’s organization is planning to kick off its nationwide “Defund the Police” effort in Austin, TX. The Action PAC, a political action committee founded by activist Shaun King, sent an email to its subscribers on Wednesday outlining its plan to pressure law enforcement agencies across the country to defund their police departments.

According to the email, the organization will “challenge racist, corrupt politicians and their policies. We will craft new laws to radically transform this country from the inside out.” They continued, explaining that “ thousands of Grassroots Law Project volunteers are forming local hubs in cities across the country and tracking policies and opportunities with the potential to end racist and brutal policing.”

The Grassroots Law Project is another group that was co-founded by King. Its goal is to influence politicians, decision-makers, and other leaders to create and support policy ostensibly designed to decrease police brutality.

The email indicates that the group intends to begin its campaign in Austin. They wrote:

“Right now, a resolution is on the table to defund the APD by $100 million, but only three members of the city council have committed to do it. We need as many people as possible to sign our super-petition so we can pressure all of their colleagues to follow suit.”

The email then asks its subscribers to sign their “super-petition” that they will present to members of the Austin City Council, demanding that they defund the Austin Police Department (APD) by $100 million.

Earlier this month, the city council voted unanimously on four pieces of legislation related to the APD. These included transferring money from law enforcement to social services and prohibiting the use of some potentially dangerous practices and weapons.

The vote came after the council listened to eight hours of public testimony on police violence during the recent George Floyd demonstrations. Members of the city government indicated that these new measures would be the first of many.

The APD has come under fire over the past few months after the killing of Mike Ramos, a black and Hispanic male who was killed by officers at the end of April. The circumstances of the killing haven’t been verified as the Austin city manager has delayed the release of the police footage. The law enforcement agency has also been the subject of criticism after officers fired non-lethal rounds at protesters, causing severe injuries to two individuals.

Other community activists have been pushing for the same solutions as King and his organization. Cutting APD’s budget by $100 million means that the agency will lose about a quarter of its funding.

Austin is already locked in a debate about defunding the police. On the progressive end, Austinites are attempting to limit funding to the extent that the department would not be able to function as effectively. Obviously, this would put residents in greater danger as the Defund the Police crowd has yet to come up with a viable alternative.

Others have suggested that the local government should take a sober look at the APD’s budget and to identify areas where they could cut spending without making it harder for officers to do their jobs. I had the opportunity to discuss the matter with the hosts of the “Come And Talk It” radio show, which covers local matters.

On the show, host Gary Faust noted that the police budget is “taking up massive portions of the city’s overall budget” and opined that much of the funding is going to areas that might not contribute to making people safer. He suggested that the city should consider allocating funding to training that will help officers de-escalate more effectively and learn methods that will help them apprehend suspects without resorting to deadly force.

Since the death of George Floyd, it has become clear that the left is not up to the task of bringing about serious reforms to local and state law enforcement agencies. Their pie-in-the-sky notion that they can abolish the police is ludicrous, especially given the fact that they have not offered a meaningful alternative.

The fact that their messaging is all over the place when it comes to defining the movement indicates that it might be better for the adults to take over. The question is, will the GOP be up to the task?

 

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