A horde of celebrities have signed an open letter calling for state and local governments to cut police budgets and reallocate the funds to necessary areas to benefit the black community.
The open letter is to supplement a petition of the same type from The Movement for Black Lives.
The Movement for Black Lives is a coalition of over 100 black rights organizations in the U.S.
What are the details?
The letter, which says police brutality and COVID-19 are "connected and consequential to each other," cites the need for such a move as based upon current and past events, such as the murder of George Floyd.
"The COVID-19 deaths and the deaths caused by police terror are connected and consequential to each other," a portion of the letter states. "The United States does not have a national healthcare system. Instead, we have the largest military budget in the world, and some of the most well-funded and militarized police departments in the world, too. Policing and militarization overwhelmingly dominate the bulk of national and local budgets. In fact, police and military funding has increased every single year since 1973, and at the same time, funding for public health decreased every year, crystallized most recently when the Trump administration eliminated the U.S. Pandemic Response Team in 2018, citing 'costs.'"
The letter continues, "Despite continued profiling, harassment, terror, and killing of Black communities, local and federal decision-makers continue to invest in the police, which leaves Black people vulnerable and our communities no safer."
Money should be siphoned from police budgets, the group says, and funneled to black neighborhood infrastructures, child care, education, and to help create a public national health care system.
The letter concludes, "Vote no on all increases to police budgets. Vote yes to decrease police spending and budgets. Vote yes to increase spending on Health care, Education, and Community programs that keep us safe."
The Weeknd revealed that he donated $200,000 to the Black Lives Matter Global Network, $200,000 to The Colin Kaepernick Know Your Rights Camp Legal Defense Initiative, and $100,000 to National Bail Out.
Actress America Ferrera also signed the letter, and taking to social media, wrote, "In my home city of Los Angeles, 54% of the city's budget goes to police! OVER HALF!!! I can't even find 'education resources' in the Mayor's budget pie! A healthy society is not built on policing! We need healthcare, education, jobs, and social services! If you're not enraged by this than [sic] you're not paying attention."
U.S. Women's national soccer team star Megan Rapinoe also made similar statements, signed the letter, and called for governments to defund the police.
"I signed on to #DefendBlackLives and to push to #DefundThePolice," Rapinoe wrote.