PHOENIX - Protesters gathered outside of Phoenix City Hall on Tuesday night during a meeting echoing similar calls heard around the nation when it comes to police budget reform.
They want to see money going to the Phoenix Police Department diverted to other community resources.
During the rally, speakers took turns voicing their opposition to the proposed budget that would give the department a $43 million increase.
Multiple groups protested, including Black Lives Matter of Phoenix and Poder In Action, hoping the city council listened to their calls to reject the increase.
Organizers say they hope the additional money would instead be funneled into community outreach organizations.
This proposed budget is not only about the increased police department budget, but it also will fund affordable housing, COVID-19 relief, homelessness and other social programs.
Jaylin Fleming, with Black Lives Matter of Phoenix, says, "There is no accountability for the police department. For the innocent protestors who in the first place are marching for a change and they get criminalized for that and the police are granted more money than they need when the community lacks funding for mental health organizations and real reform to make our people better."
Ed Zuercher, Phoenix City Manager, said of the budget proposal, "Adopting a budget is critical because it allows us to set the path forward. It allows us to build programs to ensure a funding strategy and provides spending authority."
The first vote on this budget will be in two weeks.
For more information on the city council and the proposed budget, click here https://www.phoenix.gov/budget.
The Phoenix Law Enforcement Association wasn't available for comment.