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Community Solidarity Response Network Details Defund Proposal

Sojourner’s Truth Staff

The Community Solidarity Response Network held a press conference last week to announce their detailed plan to demand that the City of Toledo redirect a portion of the police department funding to other programs designed to improve the lives of city residents, such as housing, education, transportation and health care.

CSRN members Julian Mack, Ruth Leonard and Washington Muhammad, speaking in front of One Government Center and surrounded by “Defund the Police” and Black Lives Matter” signs, called on city leaders to drastically reallocate such funds. “We know that when these policies are implemented, Toledoans will be better off,” said Mack.

Noting that the City spends 31 cents of every tax revenue dollar on the Toledo Police Department, Mack said “there is no evidence to show that increased spending on policing brings about a reduction in crime.”

Mack said that he and his fellow CSRN colleagues are calling on the City of Toledo to: “1. Redirect funds towards programs and services that address basic human needs; 2. Increase public transparency about police misdeeds and 3. Provide [information] to the public to hold the Toledo Police Department accountable.”

Specifically, CSRN is seeking a reallocation of one half of the TPD budget to programming for affordable housing, job transportation, education and health care. The group wants to reduce the size of the police force by half and increase the malpractice insurance for individual officers. With those savings, the group anticipates that the City can ensure a living wage for numerous citizens, improve infrastructure, establish universal pre-K, eliminate blight, increase addition services and improve numerous neighborhood services, such as the availability of grocery stores.

“City of Toledo residents have a right to be informed on decisions,” said Leonard as she explained the rationale behind the CSRN’s demands and the way forward to ensure accountability.  “Residents have the right to be fully informed about the activities and decisions made about their tax dollars and in their community,” she said.

To that end, said Leonard, the City should publicly share all records about “police expenditures, purchases, grants and weapons … make all records related to complaints and misconduct allegations public … not engage in the voluntary sharing of information with the federal government … share all records pertaining to arrests, stops and citations … and to the dispatch and placement of officers.”

In addition, the group is asking the City to strengthen the Civilian Review Board by establishing oversight through subpoena power, prosecutorial power, voter elected board members, no law enforcement on the board and the power to investigate and fire police personnel.

“This is only the beginning,” added Leonard.



Copyright © 2019 by [The Sojourner's Truth]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 09/17/20 09:50:47 -0400.

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