Jun 09, 2020

By Jane Brown

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Two Toronto city councillors have publicly called for a move to defund the city’s police service by 10 percent and use the money for community resources.

Josh Matlow says he will bring a motion to the next council meeting at the end of the month, with support from Kristyn Wong-Tam.

Calls to defund the police budget have grown in the wake of George Floyd’s killing in Minneapolis, as well as the death in Toronto of 29 year old Regis Korchinski-Paquet, a black woman, who fell from her 24th floor balcony while police were in her home.

Dr. Akwasi Owusu-Bempah is an assistant sociology professor at the University of Toronto, Mississauga.

He told Zoomer Radio’s Fight Back with Libby Znaimer, this is not about police abolition.

“Defunding is simply a realignment of the roles and responsibilities that are given to police, having many of those directed to other organizations or institutions that are better equipped to deal with those matters and a reallocation of the funds to go with that,” explained Dr. Owusu-Bempah. Listen to Libby Znaimer’s full conversation with Dr. Owusu-Bempah, along with racial justice lawyer Anthony Morgan and Nigel Bariffe, President of the Urban Alliance on Race Relations by clicking here.

By contrast in Minneapolis over the weekend, a majority of local city councillors said they supported “disbanding” the city’s police department. Four fired white Minneapolis police officers have been charged in George Floyd’s murder; one with second degree murder, the three others with aiding and abetting the murder.

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