A new budget passed by Tucson’s City Council came after more than an hour of public comment over funding for the Tucson Police Department, with many speakers calling for a decrease in spending in order to boost support for more social programs. The council ultimately voted 6-1 on a budget that includes $166 million for police.
Ward 1 Councilwoman Lane Santa Cruz was the only member to vote "no." She told Arizona 360 that her decision was in solidarity with members of the community who have demonstrated against systemic racism and police brutality in the wakes of the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer and the Tucson Police in-custody deaths of Carlos Lopez Ingram and Damien Alvarado earlier this spring.
“It’s not a new conversation. Folks, especially in our Black community, have been talking about this since the 1960s, but really kind of brought it to the popular demand of community that we shift how we think about community policing. And in looking at that they’re looking at the budgets and the amount of funding that goes to police,” Santa Cruz said.
“I’m just saying we need to start with looking at the scope of work that we expect from police officers and get to the place where we have peace officers. That it’s not enough to just plan for just always having crime. That we need to plan for how do we prevent crime.”