As protests across the United States, and around the world including in Australia, continue to demand justice for police brutality against black, Indigenous and people of colour (BIPOC), another chant has gained support from far and wide: Defund the police.
It's not a newly coined phrase. Activists and critics of law enforcement and the criminal justice system have been floating the idea for decades, but with the spotlight so heavily on systemic racism following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and too many other black Americans by police, it has gained huge support during protests and across social media.
Watch: Indigenous Lives Matter. Post continues below video.
But what exactly does defund the police mean? How would it work in practicality? Here's what you need to know.
What does 'defund the police' mean?
"Defund the police" means reallocating funds destined for police forces across the US into other public programs, acknowledging that crime prevention is more effective than the cure.
Supporters want a portion of the money spent on policing (AU$164 billion in 2017, according to Urban Institute data) redirected to other things, such as housing, education, social services and mental health support.
Defunding the police is not asking for all police funding to be eliminated.
"When we talk about defunding the police, what we're saying is 'invest in the resources that our communities need'," Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza explained on NBC's Meet the Press.
"Are we willing to live in fear that our lives will be taken by police officers who are literally using their power in the wrong way?" she asked.
"Or are we willing to adopt and absorb the fear of what it might mean to change our practices, which will ultimately lead to a better quality of life for everyone?"
EXCLUSIVE on #MTP: Black Lives Matter Co-founder @aliciagarza explains the call to “Defund the Police.” #IfItsSunday— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) June 7, 2020
“Why can’t we look at how it is that we reorganize our priorities so people don’t have to be in the streets during a national pandemic, a global pandemic.” pic.twitter.com/JUazC3is02