GR Community says more police is not the answer

Jul 20, 2020

Credit Michelle Jokisch Polo

Kyle Lim from the Urban Core Collective, an organization that has been advocating to partially defund the Grand Rapids Police Department, says more police doesn’t mean the community will be safer. 

“Police are part of a culture of violence that permeates our society and particularly a culture of a violence towards Black bodies and we see this evidenced in multiple other kinds of police encounters. How many times have we come together as a community to protest against the violence of police against young people, particularly young Black people?”

In the press conference, Payne said there has been little willingness from the community to cooperate with the homicide investigations. Lim attributes this to the defunding of the City’s Community enrichment programs.

“One very clear opportunity in front of us is to reallocate funds away from police from the punitive practices of policing towards community enrichment programs.”

According to budget data from the City of Grand Rapids, In the mid 1980s, 24% of the city’s budget was allocated to community enrichment programs and today only 15% is allocated to these programs while the amount of funds allocated to the police budget has increased by more than 20%.