Only 5% of arrests are for serious crimes
When Orlando officials say the police can’t be defunded they either don’t know what they’re talking about, or they have a vested interest in wasting millions of dollars on ineffective and counterproductive police services.
A report by the highly respected Vera Institute of Justice shows that of the 10 million arrests police throughout the U.S. make annually, only about 5% are for serious crimes, such as rape and murder.
|OPD arrests protester for disorderly conduct|
Most of the other arrests – 80% -- were for drug violations and offenses such as disorderly conduct.
Arrests for trivial reasons make it difficult for people to get jobs and feed the prison pipeline. No wonder the United States has more people in prison – almost 2.5 million – than any other country.
The arrests for trivial offenses disproportionally occur in black, brown, and poor white communities. The war on drugs is a big part of the problem. Between 1980 and 2016 drug arrests soared by 171%.
The Vera Institute study shows that most of the public has little confidence in police because only 40% of the people victimized actually report crimes to police. The public doubt in the police is apparently well-founded because of the crimes reported to police only about 25% are solved by arrest.
For weeks demonstrators in Orlando and around the nation have been calling on city officials to demilitarize the police, diverting money from law enforcement to address the root causes of crime and other problems with more spending on mental health and other human services.
In Orlando, 31% -- or $163 million -- of the city’s annual budget goes to the police. No other city department or program gets that much money.
During last year’s election, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer was endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police, and that police association contributed $1,000 – the legal maximum – to get Dyer elected to an unprecedented 5th term at City Hall.