FAIRFAX, Va. (WDVM)– Calls to defund and reform the police, as well as the ongoing protests nationwide, all sparked by the death of George Floyd, have echoed across the nation. As voices continue to shout for justice, leaders in Fairfax are calling for defunding, and demilitarizing the Fairfax County Police Department, as well as taking police officers out of schools.
Sean Perryman, President of Fairfax County NAACP said, “There’s no evidence that police reduce school shootings, we keep seeing school shootings even though there are police in our schools already. The only data that we see is when we put police in schools we see a spike in arrest of Black, disabled, and Latino children.”
Perryman believes in the removal of school resource officers, because he said the misbehavior of students should not be turned into a criminal offense. He also said police reform is one important step to re-prioritize community needs.
“Currently Fairfax County has a $200 million budget for the police, what about counselors? This weekend we saw police brutality for a man who was in mental distress so we don’t need to have officers armed with military weapons all the time,” said Perryman.
In a statement released from Fairfax County Chief of Police Edwin Roessler, he said “he will continue to observe the disproportionate deaths of African American community members.”
“When we talk about less police it doesn’t mean that we’re indicting all police, we’re saying that there’s data showing that as a Black individual you’re more likely to have a bad experience with them,” Perryman said. “If we want to rethink this I think, counselors are appropriate, mental health services and education is appropriate. $200 million just towards arming cops with guns is not the right thing.”