John Legend: ‘We Spend Far Too Much On Policing’

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 07: John Legend performs on stage at the WSJ. Magazine 2018 Innovator Awards Sponsored By Harry Winston, FlexJet & Barneys New York - Inside at MOMA on November 7, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for WSJ. Magazine Innovators Awards)
Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for WSJ. Magazine Innovators Awards

Grammy-winning singer John Legend defended efforts to defund the police, writing that “we spend far too much” on law enforcement and that “there should be significantly fewer police” in this country.

John Legend posted a lengthy series of tweets in which he defended the controversial movement to strip funding from police forces around the country in response to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

“I know this word ‘defund’ has caused some controversy, even from some who are inclined to agree with a lot of the underlying arguments,” Legend wrote. “Police funding takes up a huge portion of our local budgets. Budgets are moral documents which spell out in black and white what our priorities are. We have finite amounts of money to spend and right now we spend far too much on policing.”

The “All of Me” singer contended that “defund the police” doesn’t mean eliminating law enforcement entirely.

“It means there should be significantly fewer police and more professionals of other types with expertise in their fields, whether it’s social work, health care, conflict resolution, drug treatment, etc,” he said.

Legend added: “I’m almost 100% sure Biden won’t be tweeting #DefundThePolice. It’s the job of activists to push these politicians toward meaningful change.”

Joe Biden has publicly stated that he doesn’t support defunding the police.

Legend’s tweetstorm was in response to an essay in Essence magazine titled “How To Keep Our Children Safe: A Mother Explains Why We Must Defund Police.”

The essay, by Asha Bandele, contends that defunding police is “actually the only thing we can do if we want to ensure the safety of our children.”

She also wrote that the police represent a destructive force for black communities. “Their role is not heroic but harmful—when not outright deadly,” she wrote.

John Legend is one of a growing list of Hollywood stars who is calling for the defunding of police. Others include Natalie Portman, Susan Sarandon, Jane Fonda, Emily Ratajkowski, Kendrick Sampson, Taraji P. Henson, and pop star Lizzo.

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