A look at the history — and future — of police funding

05.25.2021 - By Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly

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How do we reduce crime, especially amid calls to defund the police?
While many point to rising crime rates as an indicator that more funding is needed, studies show almost no link between crime and money spent. So what’s the answer?
“We know what’s required,” said Elizabeth Hinton, a professor of history and African American studies at Yale University and author of the new book “America on Fire: The Untold History of Police Violence and Black Rebellion Since the 1960s.”
On today’s show, Hinton walks us through some of the decisions that have led to the current moment, past attempts to find a solution and things to consider in conversations around police funding as we move forward.
“When people are talking about defund the police or calling for defund the police, they’re saying we want a different set of investments of our taxpayer dollars into communities.”
Later on, we’ll hear from a listener who gives us insight into one of Molly’s favorite songs. Plus, an answer to the Make Me Smart Question.
Here’s everything we talked about on the show today:

Read Hinton’s essay on police violence in The New York Times
“Cities Say They Want to Defund the Police. Their Budgets Say Otherwise.” from Bloomberg
“A Year After George Floyd: Pressure to Add Police Amid Rising Crime” from The New York Times
“More cops. Is it the answer to fighting crime?” from USA Today
Plus, more music breakdowns!

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