George Soros Reportedly Donates $1 Million to PAC Advocating Defunding of US Police
12:45 GMT 23.07.2021 (Updated: 08:56 GMT 15.11.2022)
The demands to reduce the police's financing drastically or scrap the law enforcement for good gained terrific momentum during the public backlash which followed the death of George Floyd after an officer pressed him against the ground with his knee and refused to let go despite Floyd's complaints he couldn't breathe.
American billionaire George Soros has donated $1 million to the Color Of Change political action committee (PAC), which campaigns for the US police to be defunded, according to Federal Election Commission's recordings, obtained by the Washington Free Beacon. This is one of the largest known donations to a political cause by Soros this year.
The Color Of Change PAC, which calls itself the largest "online racial justice organization", campaigns for the US police to be defunded, arguing that the institution has become obsolete and does not fulfil its function of protecting people, at least when it comes to black communities.
"The killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor - and so many more - at the hands of police violence have left us all outraged[…] We know that policing doesn't keep us safe, communities do. Policing doesn't lead to thriving communities, investment does," the Color Of Change's petition, calling for defunding the police, says.
The PAC suggested that instead of "bloating" police budgets, the government should invest in "schools, jobs, affordable housing, parks, mental health services, community centres, and libraries". The organisation claims that this is a better way to achieve prosperity than policing.
As well as donating to the Color Of Change, Soros also spent $2 million to back Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon, who proposed radical reforms, including reducing punishments for low-level offences, ending cash bails and restricting prosecutor's ability to demand enhanced prison sentences. Gascon is currently facing recall efforts over his proposals.
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Soros also backed a number of local US prosecutors' campaigns, who were inclined to decriminalise certain offences and reduce or defer sentences.
10 July 2021, 07:12 GMT
The calls for defunding police emerged last year during the George Floyd demonstrations that rocked the country after a series of high-profile police killings of African-American citizens. Many Democrats supported the idea, which suggested that Black communities will somehow deal with maintaining safety and order better than regular police. Republicans strongly opposed the notion and condemned their Democrat counterparts for backing it. US President Joe Biden, however, claimed on 22 July that the GOP members were "lying", when they suggested that the Democratic Party was "anti-police".