Big name celebrities such as Houston native Lizzo, John Legend, the Weekend and others have signed an open letter to defund the police amid George Floyd protests that are taking place across the country.
The open letter is urging local governments to decrease the budgets for police departments and instead, increase the budget for health care, education and other community programs, according to Rolling Stone.
The letter was initiated by co-founder of Black Lives Matter and founding member for Movement 4 Black Lives, Patrisse Cullors. The open letter is tied to the deaths of unarmed black people who were killed such as Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade as well as others.
“The COVID-19 deaths and the deaths caused by police terror are connected and consequential to each other,” the open 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.'”