Dear Mayor Christenson, City Council President Sica, and City Councillors,
My name is [YOUR NAME] and I am a resident of [NEIGHBORHOOD], and I am writing to demand that the Malden Police Department be defunded.
Over the past weeks, our nation has been gripped by protests in every single state, calling for the end to police brutality. Many Malden residents have joined in this movement.
Reforming police departments does not work – that has been shown by many cities and states throughout the country for decades. Reforms have been attempted for decades – and yet there continues to be violence and violation of basic rights by police. Eric Garner was killed by chokehold by the NYPD in 2014 – over 10 years after the department banned chokeholds. Tamir Rice was murdered by Cleveland PD despite a requirement to warn and de-escalate before shooting. It is very clear that banning certain practices or requiring police to adhere to a continuum of force or de-escalation does not work. And yet Malden City devotes a great deal of the budget to the police every year, while financially starving essential services that help meet the basic needs of our community.
Defunding the police is not radical – it is an essential and logical step towards supporting community services that truly help promote community safety. In Fiscal Year 2020, Malden is set to spend $11,592,266 on police . This is more than the city is set to spend on the Health Department, Public Works and Public Facilities combined. We desperately need to fund services that support the community and cannot do so while supporting the truly excessive police budget in Malden. I ask that this committee make meaningful changes to the 2021 proposed budget to communicate that you prioritize this community’s concerns .
Thank you for your time,
[YOUR PHONE NUMBER]