Story at a glance
- San Leandro, Calif., is one of the first cities to reallocate funding away from its police force.
- This follows nationwide protests against police brutality.
In the California Bay Area, the San Leandro City Council approved a measure to reallocate $1.7 million from the city’s police department, making it among the first U.S. jurisdictions to heed protesters’ calls to defund police departments following the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, as the result of an arrest in police custody in Minneapolis.
The Mercury News reports that in a 4-3 vote, San Leandro will pull funding from its police squad on Tuesday morning. During the city council meeting, residents called for both defunding the police in addition to firing two unnamed officers involved in a fatal shooting of a black man, Steven Taylor, who is reported to have suffered an episode of mental illness in a Walmart on April 18.
The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office is reportedly investigating the incident, in which Taylor, holding a baseball bat, was tased before being shot. Onlooking shoppers reportedly yelled at the officers not to shoot him after the first shot and another yelled to call an ambulance.
BREAKING NEWS ABOUT THE GEORGE FLOYD CASE
While the officers are still being investigated, the city council voted that the $1.7 million will move from police funding into a new bucket to be reallocated with community input.
“It was a result of what our community was saying and what’s happening in the country,” Mayor Pauline Russo Cutter said.
San Leandro Police Chief Jeff Tudor said the department will review how the council’s decision will impact officers, including the possibility of cutting community outreach programs.
“I support whatever we can do to better serve the community and to meet their needs,” Tudor was quoted as saying.
Elsewhere in California, Los Angeles city officials pledged to move $250 million in previous police department funding to health care and jobs initiatives, while San Francisco is working to reallocate law enforcement funds to underserved black communities.