Movement for Black Lives Statement on Increased Police Funding, Anti-protest Legislation
In light of passage of a resolution to celebrate police and condemn life-saving demands, the Movement for Black Lives issued the following statement:
“In 2022, police killed more people than any year in U.S. history. This year, there have been only six days when police did not kill someone. Despite ongoing demands from a big tent coalition to invest in public safety solutions that protect everyone, Congress continues to pour resources into ineffective and deadly policing. We call foul.
It’s “National Police Week,” and even though the number of police killings continues to rise, Congress introduced a resolution to celebrate a force that has consistently shown a total disregard for the lives of Black people. The resolution condemns our demands to divest from institutions that kill, harm, cage, and control our communities and ignores our repeated calls to instead invest in violence prevention and interruption, housing, health care, income support, employment, and other community-based safety strategies that will produce safer communities for everyone.
While the Congressional Progressive Caucus has already taken a stance against this ‘celebratory’ legislation, the remaining lawmakers who sat idly by and allowed this to pass broke yet another promise to Black people who voted Democrats into office. And yet, in 2024, these same lawmakers will beg Black communities for their vote, knowing they can’t win without us. Despite this administration’s rhetoric on racial justice and equity, they are back-peddling on campaign promises and prioritizing the protection of property over people’s lives and the political security that comes with safeguarding the interests of organized capital.
Our communities remain under threat. This year, police killed Anthony Lower, a 36-year-old double amputee in a wheelchair. They also killed 26-year-old Manuel “Tortuguita” Esteban Paez Terán, a forest defender in the fight against Cop City. The time for a new vision of public safety is now. We need bold policymakers to stand with us on the right side of history and demand local lawmakers reduce the size, budgets, and power of all institutions that surveil, police, punish, incarcerate, and kill Black people.
These violent institutions, already receiving $100 billion a year, don’t need more ammunition. Instead of a resolution that praises police, we need Congress to support the Community Safety Agenda, which calls for federal investment in solutions that actually keep us safe and includes legislation like the People’s Response Act, Housing for All Act, and the Counseling Not Criminalization in Schools Act. When Black voters put Democrats into office across the country, they did so believing that these elected officials would stand up for us, the people. Instead, they have shown they would rather support and uphold deadly institutions. Enough is enough. We demand legislators take power and funding away from police and reduce contact between Black and Brown communities and the police. It is the responsibility of these lawmakers to take seriously the mandate to improve the material conditions of Black people and support evidenced-based community safety legislation that does just that.”
The Movement for Black Lives is a national network of more than 150 leaders and organizations creating a broad political home for Black people to learn, organize and take action. M4BL includes activists, organizers, academics, lawyers, educators, health workers, artists and more, all unified in a radical vision for Black liberation and working for equity, justice and healing.