DATE: May 31, 2020
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Washington, D.C. — Metro D.C. DSA stands firmly in solidarity with all people protesting the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin and calling for an end to the brutal, violent institution of policing that has devastated Black communities across the United States.
“Over the past few days, we have seen tens of thousands of people across the country rising up for racial justice in response to generations of unchecked police brutality and the institutions that have maintained a system steeped in white supremacist violence,” said chair of Metro D.C. DSA, Irene Koo. “Mayor Muriel Bowser claims to support the protesters, even as her proposed budget gives millions of more dollars in funding to the Metropolitan Police Department. Washington, D.C., already has more police officers per resident than any other city in the country, but the mayor’s proposal would bring total spending on police to more than $578 million.”
Koo continued, “At the same time, citing revenue shortfalls as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the mayor is choosing to impose brutal austerity on working class people in the city, freezing teacher salaries for the next four years, cutting funding to affordable housing programs, and completely eliminating noncarceral alternatives to policing such as the violence interrupters program.”
Metro D.C. DSA strongly condemns these measures and calls for the following immediate actions to end police violence and support working people:
Defund the Metropolitan Police Department, restore and expand the violence interrupters program, and increase funding for critical social services. Demilitarize the Metropolitan Police Department and implement noncarceral alternatives to policing and jails. Increase the number of people being released from jail and prison, especially given the significantly higher risk of incarcerated people contracting COVID-19.
“In the wake of yet another horrifying murder at the hands of law enforcement, our local elected officials are continuing to move in the wrong direction,” Koo said. “We must divest from police and increase investment in our communities through strong social services. We have to demand good jobs, universal housing, quality schools, and health care for all. We cannot rely on a violent state apparatus of racial control and repression, one that values private property over human lives, for our community’s safety and well-being. A better world is possible.”