In 2017, a report compiled by The Center for Popular Democracy, Law for Black Lives and the Black Youth Project 100 analyzed police budgets in major cities across America. Updated data for 2020 has now been released which shows that U.S. police departments are still receiving an astronomical percentage of discretionary funds compared to other crucial community programs. Police budgets remain high in 2020, ranging from 20 to 45 percent of discretionary funding in major metropolitan areas.
The report notes that police funding levels increased in all cities analyzed in the 2017 report (though 2020 data was not available for Minneapolis) and the figures for new cities included in the analysis show that some reform has occurred. Milwaukee is noted as an example where grassroots groups successfully demanded police divestment, which has happened, and the police department's budget is now lower than in previous years.
The same old trends are evident as in previous years in most major cities, however with the NYPD's $5.6 billion budget accounting for 7.7 percent of New York City's general fund. A general fund is used by a city to support municipal services like law enforcement, the fire department and parks, as well as planning, community development and administrative support services.
The share of the general fund is far higher in other cities such as Los Angeles. The LAPD has a 2020 budget of $1.7 billion according to the report and that accounts for over a quarter of the general fund. The share is even higher in Chicago at 37 percent with the total police budget approximately $1.68 billion. In Minneapolis, the city where George Floyd lost his life, the 2017 data shows that the police budget accounted for 35.8 percent of the general fund, totalling $163 million.