John Legend Explains What ‘Defund the Police’ Actually Means

John Legend arrives for the 2019 iHeart Radio Music Awards at the Microsoft Theatre on March 14th, 2019 in Los Angeles(Photo by Glenn Francis/Pacific Pro Digital Photography)

In a recent series of Twitter messages, John Legend explained what it actually means to “defund the police,” which some activists are calling for in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

John Legend published his 10-tweet-long take on the matter yesterday, over the course of several hours.

Beginning by posting a link to an Essence.com article, the 41-year-old proceeded to state: “I know this word ‘defund’ has caused some controversy, even from some who are inclined to agree with a lot of the underlying arguments.”

After that, Legend called on his followers to “engage with the thoughtful arguments in this piece,” before claiming that “right now we spend far too much on policing.”

In his next few tweets pertaining to the subject, John Legend chiefly emphasized his belief that community funds allocated for police services can be better spent in other areas. “Let’s resolve to do differently. Let’s imagine a healthier world,” wrote the Springfield, Ohio, native.

“This doesn’t mean there will be no police; it means there should be significantly fewer police and more professionals of other types with expertise in their fields, whether it’s social work, health care, conflict resolution, drug treatment, etc.,” proceeded Legend.

Finally, the artist said that defunding means “taking away some funding from one budget item and moving it to higher priorities” and relayed his view of activists’ role in prompting politicians to enact policy decisions: “I’m almost 100% sure Biden won’t be tweeting #DefundThePolice.  It’s the job of activists to push these politicians toward meaningful change.”

Over the weekend, a crowd booed Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey from their protest, chanting “go home” and “shame” after he stated that he does not support the defunding of the local police department.

Nine of 12 Minneapolis City Councilmembers recently voted in favor of defunding their community’s police force. In an interview today, Mayor Frey signaled that he supports “massive, structural, and transformational reform” to the police department, but reiterated that he will not back the move to defund the MPD outright.

35 Responses

  1. Avatar
    restless94110

    Can someone tell me why anyone would want Legend to help them to understand anything?

    • Avatar
      Holly

      Sounds like you could learn a thing or three.

    • Avatar
      Angelito

      He’s good at explaining how to be a filthy rich, privileged, Beverly Hills racist twinkie.

      • Avatar
        Al Jolson

        You’re obviously very jealous. But that makes sense considering the person you are.

        • Avatar
          Angelito

          Not jealous at all. I just despise phony racists like John Legend, and all your rioting and looting friends cheering on the hatred of whiyte people.

          • Avatar
            Al Jolson

            You’ve know Legend, personally, how long? Passing judgement on someone you don’t know and have never met…that reflects poorly on you.

            Protesters are different from rioters/looters. Get it straight.

            Who hates white people? Now you’re just reaching.

  2. Avatar
    Vail, CO

    I applaud Mr. Legend for taking leadership and offering some explanation, it is the best I have heard though this is just one explanation from one faction. More extreme violent wings want NO police with defunding to $0. Hard for governments to negotiate here as there is no leader or list of demands from the protest.

  3. Avatar
    Raymond

    Meanwhile the City of Beverly Hills (where John Legend and Chrissy Teigen reside) is massively increasing the number of cops and security presence in all areas including Rodeo Dr.

    DEFUND!*

    *in your city not mine

    • Avatar
      Idiot Detector

      I found you.

      Another example of someone who uses the term “defund” without knowing the meaning. Jeez.

  4. Avatar
    Raymond

    Defunding means ‘less funding’ for cops with those funds going other areas. Only ironic problem is that John Legend, an advocate of this, lives in City of Beverly Hills which was recently attacked by rioters.

    Now Beverly Hills meanwhile is increasingly the funding for cops by a multiple of 2-3X, if not more, with expenditures also committed to military style barricades, tank-like vehicles, increased cops, riot battalion equipment, street barricades to box cars in or prevent entry, increased surveillance monitoring, helicopters, attack drones, massive arrest vehicle detainment wagons, the works. Trust me this won’t happen again in Beverly Hills.

    John Legend’s message? “defund” in your own neighborhood, not mine!

    • Avatar
      Henrietta

      I read the article, but missed the part (as you say) where Legend says he all for defunding, but not in his city. Please point this out. While BHPD may be ramping up, exactly how does Legend have any say or influence in that. Please cite your source.

      • Avatar
        Raymond

        Henrietta, John Legend has a very influential voice and millions of people listen to him. So why is he not standing up to defund Beverly Hills Police?

        • Avatar
          Henrietta

          And there’s the difference. You’re making an assumption. You jump to the conclusion that Legend’s words don’t match his actions. Just because you may do something different, doesn’t mean other need to do what you would do. Is he not standing up? Is he opposing? Is he just using his platform to state facts, as opposed to opinion?

          • Avatar
            Raymond

            If John Legend really cared about defunding the police then he would demand the changes in his OWN neighborhood with is City of Beverly Hills which is increasing police budgets.

            But he won’t do that because he has a luxury mansion there. Trust me you will not see John Legend take a stand to reduce cops in Beverly Hills.

        • Avatar
          30 and momma

          “Millions of people listen to him”

          And all of them still live with There parents lol

  5. Avatar
    Lou

    Who cares what a hypocrite like John Legend has to say…He’s an amazing artist/songwriter and he should STAY in his lane! I bet he feels safe behind his gates in Beverly Hills

    • Avatar
      Patrick

      Yeah! If you’ve achieved any success, you shouldn’t have an opinion!

      • Avatar
        Raymond

        If John Legend has an opinion he should stand by it and demand defunding in his own neighborhood which is Beverly Hills. But he won’t do that.

        • Avatar
          Henrietta

          Your expectations of other is amazing. What are you doing…besides posting comments to a site that gets little to no visibility?

          • Avatar
            Raymond

            John Legend is heading a fundraiser for Joe Biden tomorrow with $1000 minimum donations. As you might know Joe Biden recently flat out says NO to defunding police in any way, so then why is John Legend (along with Barbara Streisand) still raising millions for him?

  6. Avatar
    Angelito

    What a creep. Defund and let poor neighborhoods burn while I live in a heavily-guarded gated community.

    And, WTF does “defund” even have to be explained? More John Kerry “nuance” from liberals, doncha know.

    I REALLY hate this guy and most of Hollywood. REALLY.

    • Avatar
      Paul

      You don’t get it. That’s expected. Your comments rarely reflect any understanding of the actual topic. Haters will hate. It’s a shame you haven’t (and won’t) achieved much in life.

      • Avatar
        Angelito

        That’s what liberals always say—you don’t get it.

        No, I get it, and I do not agree with your hatred of the US.

        Understand now?

        • Avatar
          Paul

          I understand that you assume a lot and are wrong most of the time.
          I understand that you like to politicize everything – libs vs cons.
          I understand that you’re a raving mad idiot.

          • Avatar
            Angelito

            Politicize everything? Just WTF do you think this martyrdom for a man high on fentanyl who pointed a gun at a pregnant woman’s stomach is about?

            Yes. Fucking politics and the destruction of the US. Just ask your fucking Antifa pals, you creep.

  7. Avatar
    Al Jolson

    I am sure Chicago will do well with “defunding.” It only had 18 murders yesterday, and they certainly will go down because John Legend sings a stupid song and tells them to stop murdering.

    • Avatar
      Angelito

      Way to not understand what defunding actually means. Typical

      • Avatar
        Angelito

        John Kerry? Is that you John? I need some instruction on your elitist nuance and interpretation

        • Avatar
          Al Jolson

          John Kerry. Only a stinking liberal would say his name. You asshole commie.

          • Avatar
            Teresa Hines Kerry

            Can you pass me the ketchup, John?

  8. Avatar
    Duh

    ‘”…it means there should be significantly fewer police and more professionals of other types with expertise in their fields, whether it’s social work,…etc.,” proceeded Legend.’

    Hypothetical: a guy with a gun breaks into John Legend’s mansion and threatens Chrissy and the rest of the family. Who’s John going to call, the police or a social worker?

    • Avatar
      Angelito

      He is going to talk to them and convince him that stealing, looting, rioting, arson, drug use, and gang killings are no longer needed since the police are gone.

  9. Avatar
    Geronimo

    Defunding means to take money from the police budget and give free stuff to black people. There. No more confusion.

    You know I am right.

    • Avatar
      Angelito

      The confusion is in your brain. Bigly confusion