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Protesters call for justice, authorities to defund Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department

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Posted at 11:39 PM, Jun 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-11 09:18:22-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — A group of protesters is demanding a meeting with the mayor to urge authorities to defund the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department amid calls for justice and police reforms.

The small group gathered in front of Las Vegas City Hall Wednesday to chant for change and issued the new demands.

"We feel like the police need to be defunded, on the simple fact, we feel like they're not here to do their pledge, which is to serve and protect," said Taylocc the Entertainer.

The groups wants the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department's next budget, which starts July 1 and is currently between $500-$600 million dollars, to be slashed.

"They are shooting us, they are getting $600 million funding, just for them to kill us off," added Taylocc the Entertainer.

"I understand that folks are upset with what happened in Minnesota, but calling for the defunding or the dismantling of police departments is absolutely insane," said Steve Grammas, president of the Las Vegas Police Protective Association.

Trump, Biden not supportive of defunding the police

The Las Vegas Police Protective Association, or PPA, is working with Nevada's largest police department on cuts related to COVID-19.

Grammas says the department has slashed $20.4 million to help shore up budgets, which has plummeted amid the pandemic.

"While people are upset, and I get that, as I've said before, our entire agency is disturbed by what we saw in Minnesota, but to take it out on every police department and say they need to be defunded or dismantled; it doesn't work, it doesn't help the community, it'll make things a lot worse," added Grammas.

Across the county, calls to "Defund the Police" due to racial unrest have intensified.

The idea is to take money designated for the police and redirect the funds to social programs.

Los Angeles has announced major cuts to police funding.

Seattle is considering a 50% reduction and New York City is redirecting funds to youth programs.

"We have one of the most progressive, and well-trained police departments in the whole United States," said former Clark County Commissioner Tom Collins.

"The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department is by far one of the best, most honest, and well-trained police forces in the country," added Collins.

Collins, an outspoken police advocate while serving on the Clark County Commission until 2015, says the county provides the bulk of the funding for the department and the money for social services largely comes from the state of Nevada.

Protesters tell 13 Action News they plan to be outside protesting at city hall until their demands are met.

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