NEWTON, MASS. VIA ZOOM, 10 JUNE 2020 – A petition posted on Change.org has 1,453 signatures thus far, calling for the de-funding of the Newton, Massachusetts Police Department. Doubling-down on this message, the Newton City Council held a Zoom online meeting in the late afternoon of Wednesday, June 10, 2020, in which more than 200 people logged on to comment or listen to ideas to decrease or dismantle the Newton Police Department.
A day before the Zoom meeting, a Facebook page was created called “Defund NPD” which lists the “initial demands” of the Defund Newton Police Department group. No names are listed on the anonymous Facebook page.
Both in the Zoom meeting, as well as in more than 700 word manifesto petition presented to Newton Mayor Ruthanne Fuller, the group lists their “demands,” detailing a minimum 10% drop in the police depart, as a start.
Excerpts from their petition include:
“Our initial demands are:
1. Reject any proposed increase to the police budget.
2.NO NEW POLICE CRUISERS
3.NO NEW HIRES and no recruitment
… b.We demand line item 513010, calling for $250,000 for over time patrol services, be rejected in an effort to minimize patrolling
c.We demand line item 514007, calling for increase in holiday patrolling pay, be adjusted to receive $188,897 in an effort to minimize patrolling
d.We demand line item 530100, calling for $4,000 for recruitment consultants, be rejected in an effort to lessen recruitment and thus policing
4.DEFUND NPD BY at least 10% in the FY21 budget and develop a plan for reallocating resources towards community solutions
a.We demand the police department no longer purchases military or militarized weapons or supplies, as these “supplies” do not keep our community safe i.We demand line item 585062, calling for $4,000 for public safety firearms, be rejected
in an effort to demilitarize the Newton Police Department
The letter goes on to advocate for the transfer of funds from the police depart to “social services… health and human services, education,” and other activities.
It concludes by stating that “the history of police departments in America is directly tied to slavery, white sumpremacy (sic) and racism. Our city is not exempt from this history…”
The city council has taken the matter under consideration.