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Protest, rally held in Downtown Baltimore to defund the police department

Posted at 9:49 PM, Jun 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-12 23:31:30-04

BALTIMORE — “Something got to change for my son. Something got to change for everybody children that are growing up.”

Talia Hall was among hundreds of demonstrators protesting outside city hall calling on the city to defund the police department.

But, for Hall, it’s much deeper than that.

“Every time I see somebody get killed I see somebody dying all over again,” she said.

Back in 2006, she says an MTA police officer killed her brother Jeffrey Marrow.

14 years later, she’s still seeking justice.

“I grew up with him. I ate with him. I went to school with him and I don’t know what happened to him,” said Hall.

Her story is similar to others across the country and one of the reasons Hall and other protesters believe the city should cut the police department’s proposed 500 plus million dollar budget.

Reallocating part of that money to fund things like education, jobs, mental health and more.

"Why is it that we can’t pour money back into those things. So when we say defund the police it’s not just defund the police and let the money sit there, it’s to reinvest that back into the communities that need it.

Inside city hall, City Council President Brandon Scott proposed tens of millions of dollars worth of cuts to BPD’s budget to help fund the Kirwan commission and underfunded agencies.

RELATED: Baltimore City Council President Brandon Scott stresses need for responsible reductions to BPD budget

“For those who have been calling for additional cuts to our department, BPDs budget does not allow a lot of room for flexibility."

Police Commissioner Michael Harrison says the police department has already made cuts and because of the federal consent decree, the department needs the funds to continue to improve the force.

He admits they need to re-examine policing, but he doesn’t believe pulling partial funding is the way forward.

“We must have the resources available in order to have the BPD to reform.”

Other council members support cutting the budget. Councilman Ryan Dorsey proposed about $40 million worth of cuts. but Council President Scott says he wants to do it responsibly and over time.

The city does still have time to figure this out because June 26 is the official deadline to adopt the city's budget.