It looks as though the Dallas City Council is bending a knee to Black Lives Matter activists who are demanding that police departments are defunded and social engineering programs be funded as an alternative. The mayor is not pleased with the latest cut in the police department budget.
The city council voted to cut $7M from the police department’s overtime budget last week. He calls it an “inappropriate action”, given the city’s rise in violent crime. Mayor Eric Johnson is taking his message directly to the city’s residents. He taped an interview on Friday for Sunday’s edition of Lone Star Politics, a political show produced by KXAS-TV (NBC5) and The Dallas Morning News. He suggests that instead of taking funding out of the police department’s overtime budget, the salaries of highly paid city employees be cut.
“The city of Dallas is facing a serious uptick in violent crime, and it’s not just a few days or weeks or months in the making. We’re talking about a couple of years now of steadily increasing aggravated assaults, steadily increasing homicide and steadily increasing domestic violence.”
“I don’t believe, and neither do the people of Dallas … that now is the right time to be defunding the police, or cutting funding to the police to send a message or anything like that.”
Johnson said public safety should be a priority, and he’s called for cutting the salaries of highly paid city employees, instead of the 25% reduction in the police overtime budget.
“We need to prioritize public safety right now,” he said. “I do believe that there are ways to generate revenue to do some things that we all agree on the City Council are important to do that don’t involve cutting the public safety budget at a time like this.”
Many police departments are facing personnel shortages due to recent anti-police sentiments and police chiefs are resigning across the country in response to a lack of support from local elected officials. Last week I wrote about the Dallas police chief’s resignation. A large part of her reason is likely directly linked to the city council’s lack of support.
Johnson emailed a letter to residents to let them know about the city council’s action. He scheduled interviews with Sunday shows with local stations, too.
The council member who introduced the amendment to cut police funding, Adam Bazaldua, calls Johnson’s remarks ” insulting” and they amount to media grandstanding. “It’s disappointing that he sees this as a moment to be more combative than productive,” Bazaldua said.
Another city council member defended their decision. She spouts the nonsense that the money should be “reprogrammed” on social engineering programs and outreach programs.
“Twelve of my colleagues and I voted to reprogram $7 million in police overtime pay in order to create programs and outreach efforts that will help reduce neighborhood crime rates,” Arnold wrote.
She added: “This action does not represent a lack of support for DPD. The DPD budget still has several million dollars available for overtime compensation. If an emergency should arise, the City Manager and Council could move funds from the reserve account to address the matter.”
She’d like it both ways. She sounds as though she has been reprogrammed by recent consistent social justice protests (riots) – going on now for over 100 consecutive days in Dallas – and yet she wants to keep the option open to move around funding “if an emergency should arise.” Of course, an emergency will arise. Black Lives Matter has no intention of shutting down the civic unrest and rioting in the near future. It will certainly continue through Election Day. BLM is a political movement – a Marxist movement – hellbent on destroying America as we know it. The organization has been quite clear in its intentions. Believe them when they tell you who they are.
Councilmember Arnold sees it all as just politics as usual at the budget time while the mayor wants discussions about the meaning of defunding the police. Perhaps people are confused about what exactly defunding the police means but for most people, the meaning is clear. And, BLM activists have been honest from the start – they mean it literally. They actually want a society without law enforcement, whether it is local police departments or Homeland Security or ICE or any other policing entity. Marxists have no use for any of those.
“I think we need to have a very serious conversation about these topics, and I’ll say this. When I first heard the phrase to defund the police several months ago, I very genuinely and earnestly asked the question what does that mean, and I was actually met with some ridicule and met with some derision and accused of pretending not to know,” Johnson said. “People are all over the place on what it means.”
Johnson has pushed for an amendment that cuts City Hall salaries and uses the savings to fund public safety, along with other budget priorities. It’s a compromise that could save $6M but the city council voted against it.
Mayor Johnson is a black man and a Democrat. It is not often I agree with him on politics but in this case, he’s right. The city council is cowardly appeasing a Marxist movement instead of upholding support for local law enforcement and public safety. Appeasement doesn’t work. Next time BLM’s demands will be greater. It’s past time for elected officials to stand up and say enough is enough.