Fact Check: Did Governor Whitmer Really Defund Michigan Police?
Just because a post was shared 20,000 times, doesn't make it factual, unfortunately.
Yesterday, a Facebook page called Great Lakes News shared a post claiming that Governor Gretchen Whitmer had ordered for police in Michigan to be defunded. It was shared over 20K times and the outrage followed.
Several members of the House of Representatives posted online to clarify the post, which had already been widely shared.
Benjamin "Ben" R. Frederick is a Republican member of the Michigan House of Representatives and the former mayor of Owosso, according to gophouse.org.
State representative Scott VanSingel also posted on his Facebook page:
I'm receiving several e-mails from constituents today because they heard the governor defunded the state police and corrections department. I would like to clear this up.
The legislature and governor reached an agreement and made numerous cuts to various departments to close the $3B budget gap for this fiscal year. Approx. $500M was removed from the state police and corrections budgets. This was replaced, dollar for dollar by federal coronavirus relief funds, so there was not a net reduction in the budgets. Hopefully this clears up the misinformation that has been circulating.
So no, the Governor did NOT defund the police in Michigan. In fact, this was a bipartisan agreement. It really stinks that a "news" organization would post something so blatantly misleading, just to get clicks. And it makes me happy that these state representatives posted clarification instead of allowing the fake news train run off the tracks.