In the aftermath of George Floyd’s death, calls grow to ‘defund the police.’ But what would that actually mean?

“Defund the police.”

In recent days, protesters decrying the death of an unarmed Black man at the hands of Minnesota police have waved placards and written opinion columns calling for a dramatic overhaul of the way we keep citizens safe.

But what does it actually mean to defund the police? In practice, what would that look like? What is it, exactly, that some are calling for?

Opinions vary, but the consensus among activists is that attempts to reform policing culture have failed and that the role of police in society should be severely curtailed — if not eliminated entirely. Instead, they argue, public money should be redirected to other areas, such as health care, education, housing and jobs.