The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement is a social and political movement which protests institutional racism, with a particular focus upon protesting racially motivated violence against African Americans by the police.
In 2020, parts of the BLM movement began campaigning for the defunding of police. If successful, defunding the police would mean that law enforcement budgets would be dramatically cut, with fewer police officers. Ideally, these budgets would be reallocated into public institutions.
Other parts of the BLM movement believe that the police should be abolished altogether. If successful, abolishing the police would mean that current law enforcement systems would be replaced entirely by alternatives to policing. These alternatives to policing may include a greater focus upon preventative measures, through public health initiatives and community-based organisations, and different approaches to conflict management, through, for example, community patrols or ‘peace officers’, specialist crisis response teams or community mediation.
The BLM campaign for defunding the police has had moderate success, with a number of American cities decreasing funding to law enforcement agencies, such as in New York, Los Angeles and Minneapolis.