Charleston, S.C. (WCBD) – The Charleston People’s Budget Coalition, made up of the ACLU of South Carolina, Black Liberation Fund, and more requested on Wednesday the City of Charleston to reallocate five million dollars from police funding to efforts eliminating poverty and racial disparities in the city.
The coalition says the police department is overfunded and the money should be used to improve housing, racial justice, and livable wages.
Co-founder of Black Liberation Fund Latisha Imara says “this is a positive way to take those things, that money, that energy, and put that into something or someplace or some places that will help benefit the whole community at large.”
The coalition stated the black community is more likely to face force from the CPD, that is why the coalition has asked for a civilian body representative and inclusionary zoning laws.
“Especially since the police have used an unreasonable amount of force against the community itself… how could we change this in this moment,” added Imara.
The City of Charleston responded to the request by noting the city’s 50 million affordable housing fund, more 150 million dollars in resilience and flooding projects, and employee minimum wage of $21 an hour with benefits.
Charleston City Mayor John Tecklenburg said “The city of Charleston has one of the finest police departments in the country and we’re not going to defund it. In fact, we plan to keep making the kinds of investments in community policing that build trust and make all our citizens and neighborhoods safer.”
While the City of Charleston says they are funding the priorities that have been requested, the organizations say they have yet to see any change or impact made.