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VERIFY: No, deadly crime isn't rising because APD was defunded

The City of Atlanta at one point considered withholding millions from the police budget, but the opposite happened.

ATLANTA — An Atlanta deputy police chief said it’s frustrating to see the type of violence they’re investigating this year.

The city surpassed 100 homicides over the weekend for this year.

Deputy Chief Charles Hampton said 90 percent of those homicides involved handguns, and 80 percent happen between people who knew each other. 

"We’re just seeing a lot senseless acts of violence in our community and we’re just pleading again that people remain calm," said Hampton during a Monday afternoon press conference.

But, this news has some people believing, the rise in crime is related to defunding the police. So, 11Alive is verifying.

SOURCES

City of Atlanta Budgets

Georgia State Legislature

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, 2021 State of the City Address

THE QUESTION

Is the rise in homicides related to defunding the police?

THE ANSWER:

No.

WHAT WE FOUND

There were calls to defund the police, stemming from 2020’s protests, and the City of Atlanta even discussed withholding $73 million from the police budget in the same year. But that never passed.

Looking back at 2019, the city’s police department budget was $194 million.

Since then, every year their budget’s increased, to $207 million in 2020, $215 million in 2021, and $230 million that’s been approved for 2022. 

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said that money would go to retention bonuses and additional staff.

“We are committed to putting another 250 officers on the street in the next fiscal year," the mayor said in her State of the City address.

Even if the city wanted to cut the budget by a lot, it couldn’t happen.

A law passed earlier 2021, preventing cities and counties from cutting police budget more than 5% a single year.

So, while homicides are up so far for the year, it’s not because the police department was defunded. 

The VERIFY team works to separate fact from fiction so that you can understand what is true and false. Please consider subscribing to our daily newsletter, text alerts and our YouTube channel. You can also follow us on Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and TikTok. Learn More »

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