Two Hamilton councillors show their support for call to defund police

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Published June 16, 2020 at 8:14 pm

Two Hamilton councillors are showing their support for calls to defund police and reallocate those funds to social services.

Two Hamilton councillors are showing their support for calls to defund police and reallocate those funds to social services.

In a press release sent Tuesday (June 16), Ward 1 councillor Maureen Wilson and Ward 3 councillor Nrinder Nann said they will be making a public statement of their support on Facebook at 8:30 a.m on Wednesday.

The call to defund and disarm the police has gained international momentum in the wake of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis under the knee of a white police officer in May.

The resulting anti-Black racism protests have reinvigorated the Black Lives Matter movement and one of the key rallying calls has been to defund police.

Defunding the police is the policy by which a significant portion of a community’s funding for police services to be redirected to community supports that address criminal determinants like poverty, homelessness and mental health.

It also involves reducing the funds that go towards arming the police and potentially reducing the number of fatal incidents related to police response.

There have been several peaceful protests in Hamilton since the beginning of the month, one of the first was on June 2 when local activists coordinated a series of live stream videos at several locations across the city.

In the videos, the activists call for police defunding and disarming, as well as the reorganization of the province’s police watchdog organization, the Special Investigations Unit, and the firing of McMaster University’s head of security, former Hamilton Police chief Glenn De Cair,e who introduced the policy of carding to the police service.

The notion of defunding the Hamilton Police was batted around at the service’s board meeting last week.

During the meeting, councillor Chad Collins introduced a motion asking for a report on what a 20 per cent reduction to the Hamilton Police Services budget would look like,

In his remarks to introduce the motion, though, it was made clear that Collins’ intention was by no means to defund the police.

“I think those people who are advocating for those reductions need to know what they’re asking for,” he said.

“It’s my opinion that providing less resources for the police prevents or prohibits them from doing their job properly, and ultimately leads to reduced public safety.”

His voiced belief that abolishing the police was ‘nonsensical’ was echoed by fellow board members.

Nann and Wilson say they will be voicing their support for the call to defund police on their respective Facebook pages Wednesday morning at 8:30.

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