Celebrities John Legend and Megan Rapinoe are among those who reportedly signed a petition to defund police departments.
The petition calls for local governments to decrease spending on police departments and increase spending on health care and education, according to a report published Tuesday by Rolling Stone. Other celebrities who reportedly signed include Common, the Weeknd, Lizzo, Jane Fonda and Anthony Romero, the executive director of the ACLU.
— John Legend (@johnlegend) June 3, 2020
“The COVID-19 deaths and the deaths caused by police terror are connected and consequential to each other,” the petition stated. “The United States does not have a national healthcare system. Instead, we have the largest military budget in the world, and some of the most well-funded and militarized police departments in the world, too.” (RELATED: Here’s All The Celebrities Who Attended George Floyd Protests Over The Weekend)
“Policing and militarization overwhelmingly dominate the bulk of national and local budgets,” the petition continued. “In fact, police and military funding has increased every single year since 1973, and at the same time, funding for public health decreased every year, crystallized most recently when the Trump administration eliminated the U.S. Pandemic Response Team in 2018, citing ‘costs.'”
John Legend, Common, Lizzo, the Weeknd and Talib Kweli have signed an open letter calling for the defunding of police to spend more on education and healthcare https://t.co/9g6Oa2hgOO pic.twitter.com/Um2tiI2WpF
— Rolling Stone (@RollingStone) June 2, 2020
The petition summarized three key points at the end.
“Vote no on all increases to police budgets,” it said. “Vote yes to decrease police spending and budgets. Vote yes to increase spending on Health care, Education, and Community programs that keep us safe.”
The petition comes after the death of George Floyd sparked protests and riots in cities across America. Floyd died while in custody of the Minneapolis Police Department. Bystander footage showed former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin hold Floyd down with a knee on his neck for almost nine minutes.
Chauvin has since been charged with murder in the 3rd degree and manslaughter.