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CityLab Daily: Where ‘Defund the Police’ Stands Today

Also today: How much flooding damage cost the U.S., and whistle-blowing reaches record with remote working.

Sources: Bloomberg reporting, The Associated Press

Sources: Bloomberg reporting, The Associated Press

Mixed messages: For many supporters of Black Lives Matter, the weak response to mostly white rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol last week only amplified calls to "defund the police." It was a stark contrast to the brutal force used on some peaceful protesters last summer. The rallying cry from almost eight months ago led major cities to announce police budgets cuts of up to $1 billion at the height of the 2020 demonstrations. 

But a new Bloomberg CityLab analysis of 2020 and 2021 police budgets from the 50 largest cities reveals a different political reality: Most major U.S. cities — including those that have swung left since the 2016 presidential election — have been unwilling to make meaningful cuts.