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Cities’ Pleas for Federal Aid Run Into Calls to Defund Police

Minnesota State Patrol members stand guard over a statue of Christopher Columbus that was toppled by protesters in St Paul, Minnesota on June 10.
Minnesota State Patrol members stand guard over a statue of Christopher Columbus that was toppled by protesters in St Paul, Minnesota on June 10.Photographer: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Local governments are pleading for federal aid to maintain public safety resources even as officials in at least 16 U.S. cities take steps to defund police departments.

With the pandemic-induced recession leaving large budget shortfalls, lobbying groups representing cities and mayors say demonstrations against racism and police brutality have laid bare the need for more federal aid to stave off deep budget cuts to law enforcement and social services vital to addressing systemic bias.