…BUT THEIR OWN WORDS SHOW: Mayor, City Council Were Defunding the Police and Cutting Police Budgets
ALSO: Some Council Members Actually Said The Defunding Didn’t Go Far Enough, Calling It “A Very Small Gesture” and “Not Enough”
NORMAN — Mayor Clark and city council members have been backtracking lately, suggesting they actually support law enforcement, as allies of the council members and mayor have been circulating a graph alleging that they didn’t really defund the police.
Perhaps it’s because a recall effort is now underway to hold individuals accountable for doing precisely that.
A quick factcheck of numerous publicly-available media reports show that Clark did, in fact, publicly state that the city was removing funding from the police to allocate elsewhere, and she acknowledged in on-camera news interviews that she and the city council were responding to the very protestors whose very mantra was “defund the police.”
In fact, some city council members’ statements show not only did they defund the police — they actually didn’t think the cuts went far enough.
News reports, along with their own words and actions, here:
Norman City Council votes to cut police funding
The Daily Oklahoman – July 18, 2020 1:08a.m.
The council passed three amendments — one each by Mayor Breea Clark, Councilwoman Kate Bierman and Councilwoman Alex Scott — totaling $865,000 in cuts following several hours of heated discussion and public comment.
KOCO 5 TV — June 17, 2020
“…I’m hoping, again, we can set an example for not only Oklahoma but the rest of the nation,” Norman Mayor Breea Clark said.
For hours during the meeting, protesters called on the City Council to defund the police department.
“I do think they got through,” Clark said. “I think protest is what effects change in this nation.”
THE DAILY OKLAHOMAN – July 18, 2020
Calling it a "very small gesture" and "an important time in Norman's history," the city council voted early Wednesday morning to cut more than $800,000 from the police department budget in response to calls to fund alternatives to armed policing.
Councilman, Stephen Holman, in his closing comments, said the council's actions are not enough.
"It's a very small gesture, what we've been able to do with the budget tonight," he said. "This conversation ... has not been happening at City Hall. Ever in my experience. It's always been for more funding for police and things like that.
"So we have started that conversation here tonight and which means it can continue going on forever and for the rest of Norman's future, in my opinion."
Additionally: NUMEROUS third-party, objective, publicly-available media reports show that the mayor and the city council slashed nearly $1 Million in police budgets. Could KOCO 5, The Daily Oklahoman, News 9, ABC News, The Norman Transcript, OKC FOX, TheHill, The Daily Progress, KFOR, Associated Press, and U.S. News & World Report ALL be wrong? Not a chance.
U.S. News & World Report — June 17, 2020
Norman Cuts $865,000 From Police Budget Amid Calls to Defund
The Norman City Council is slashing $865,000 from the police budget following hours of intense debate during a meeting that city leaders was rescheduled amid mounting calls from community members to defund the police.
KOCO 5 – July 9, 2020
NORMAN, Okla. —Norman citizens are uniting to make sure their voices are heard after city leaders cut $865,000 from the police department’s budget.
OKC FOX – June 17, 2020
“What Defunding the Police Will Look Like”
Norman, Okla. (KOKH) — It's a slogan we've heard across the country, to defund the police.
That call to action made its way to Norman Tuesday night.
"We kind of reinvisioned what policing could look like in our community and we took some major steps," said Norman Mayor Breea Clark.
During Tuesday's city council meeting, council approved cutting $865,000 from the Norman Police Department's $41 million budget.
ABC News — July 10, 2020
Pro-police group seeks to oust Oklahoma mayor, council
The group, “Unite Norman,” is particularly upset with the council over its decision last month to reallocate $865,000, or about 3.6%, of the police department’s annual budget. The money was shifted to community development programs and to create an internal auditor position to track police overtime spending and outlays.
The Norman Transcript – June 17
VIDEO: City council cuts $865,000 from NPD budget
The Norman City Council did not completely defund the Norman Police Department, but it did bleed its proposed budget by $865,000 at the end of a meeting that continued until 4 a.m. Wednesday.
NEWS 9 – June 17, 4:24a.m.
11-Hour Norman City Council Meeting Ends With $865,000 Taken Out Of Police Budget
CONCLUSION: As you can see, there really is no confusion over whether or not the mayor and city council placed the police budget on the chopping block.
So, why is the mayor so confused?
That is a question only she can answer.
Contact: Russell Smith rsmith@UniteNorman.com