RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Another member of the Richmond City Council has come out in support of defunding the city’s police department.
Stephanie Lynch, the city’s 5th District representative, released a post on social media Wednesday sharing her thoughts on the possibility of diverting public money from the department’s budget to serve community members instead.
“We need a transformative rebalancing of the institutions in our public safety and criminal justice system,” Lynch wrote on her Facebook page. “There is decades-worth of research that proves society’s answer to ‘reducing crime’ has done nothing more than traumatize communities, perpetuate health disparities, increase recidivism rates, create an oppressed population of low-income workers, and disenfranchise black lives.”
Lynch’s call to bring change comes after a fellow council member, Councilman Michael Jones of the 9th District, made a similar statement regarding defunding the police. The councilwoman provided a list of five immediate actions she would like to be enacted:
- Working with multiple stakeholders to draft a resolution that will start the beginnings of the community engagement process to develop recommendations for an independent civilian review board, with subpoena power
- Co-patroning the “Marcus Alert” legislation with colleague Councilmember Jones to establish a mental health crisis response network;
- Calling for the elimination of contracts between the U.S. Military and our police force;
- Selling off any militarized items that are in our current inventory and sending those funds to the education budget; and
- Requesting a transition plan to remove all police department officers from our public schools and replace with trauma-informed case management and social workers.
This story is developing. Check back for updates.