Atlanta City Council narrowly votes down withholding police funding

ATLANTA — The Atlanta City Council on Saturday narrowly voted down an ordinance that would have withheld $73 million of the Atlanta Police Department’s budget until Mayor Keisha Lance Bottom’s administration drafted a plan to reinvent the culture of policing in the city and make it a national model for law enforcement, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

The 7-8 vote came after two teleconference council meetings and a listening session this past week, during which the council heard thousands of voice mails of a public comment. Many called for them to defund the police, as a handful of other cities have done in the aftermath of mass demonstrations sparked by the Minneapolis Police killing of George Floyd in late May.

Council members Michael Julian Bond, Andrea Boone, Howard Shook, Marci Collier Overstreet, J.P. Matzigkeit, Joyce Sheperd, Cleta Winslow and Dustin Hillis voted against the ordinance, while Councilmembers Jennifer Ide, Matt Westmoreland, Andre Dickens, Natalyn Archibong, Amir R. Farohkhi, Antonio Brown and Carla Smith voted for it.

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This story was written by Stephen Deere for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.