American News Feb 28, 2021 4:04 PM EST

San Francisco defunds police by $120 million despite skyrocketing crime

The plan, dubbed The Dream Keeper Initiative, will invest the money across multiple social and economic welfare initiatives for black residents.

San Francisco defunds police by $120 million despite skyrocketing crime
Noah David Alter Toronto
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San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced last week that the city is developing a plan to divert $120 million from local law enforcement into the city's black community, Fox News reports.

The plan, dubbed The Dream Keeper Initiative, will invest the money across multiple social and economic welfare initiatives for black residents, including $7 million for guaranteed income, $2 million for "culturally affirming spaces," and $3.6 million for youth development.

The funding stream is earmarked solely for the black community, with other minority racial and ethnic groups left out of the economic initiative. For some, this raises questions about discriminatory fund allocations. The black population of San Francisco is approximately six percent.

"We know that to actually see true lasting change we need to focus on helping entire families -- from early education for kids, to job training and workforce support for their parents, and serve communities that have been systematically harmed by past policies," said Mayor Breed on Thursday.

"To make these decisions, we've listened to the African-American community about what's worked and what hasn't and we are committed to actually delivering on the promises that are made but all too often aren't kept," she said.

The diverting of funds away from police was first proposed in July of 2020, a little over a month after the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis, which sparked nationwide protests and riots.

"It's not enough to say that Black Lives Matter," Breed declared. "We must listen to black voices, commit the resources, and create the programs that will actually right past wrongs and get people resources and services so they can build their futures here in San Francisco and know that their City has their back."

The announcement comes as San Francisco faces an unprecedented skyrocketing in criminal activity. According to the San Francisco Police Department, between November 2019 and November 2020, burglaries have risen 42 percent, car thefts are up 32 percent, and arson is up 39 percent.

Murders in the Bay Area have risen 35 percent in 2020, while assaults, including sexual assaults, have dropped.

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