Dear City Councilors,
The City of Boston must reduce the Boston Police Department budget. The City Council needs to address a lack of investment in predominantly Black and Brown communities and an over-investment in their criminalization and surveillance including spending on the Boston Regional Intelligence Center (BRIC).
The City Council is considering a grant of $850,000 from the Executive of Public Safety to spend on the BRIC, in addition to $4 million in the City Budget and other federal funding from Trump’s Department of Homeland Security. The City Council should not authorize the grant and should cut the BRIC line item from our city budget. BRIC manages the racist gang database and invasive surveillance that disproportionately targets Black and Brown residents.
With the overall police budget, the City Council has the power to cut line items in the City budget. The police budget and overtime budget should be cut, with funds reinvested in Black and POC communities including $15 million this year for youth jobs.
Now especially, the City Council can take a stand for racial justice by significantly defunding policing and investing in Black and Brown communities - starting with cutting the least transparent and most harmful parts of the BPD budget.
Racist police violence doesn’t just happen in other cities - it happens here in Boston too. The City Council must stop investing in targeted criminalization and surveillance, and fund what Black and Brown communities need to be safe and healthy: COVID19 relief, housing, healthcare, treatment, healing, cooperative businesses, community centers, community-led organizations and projects.