As Black Lives Matter protests continue across the country, activists have offered up any number of possible solutions to the kind of police violence that led to the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer, but none have spurred more national debate and discussion than the call to "defund the police."  
Over the last week, the idea has grown from a social media slogan and protest chant to a fiercely debated political possibility. 
What exactly "defund" means in practice varies depending on who you're asking, but the broader goal is simple: funnel money away from law enforcement into other public programs. 
But does that mean police still get some funding? If so, how much? How close is defund to "abolish," an even more radical term used by activists who believe police should be replaced with new community-based forms of maintaining justice and peace? 
On Monday, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said that he does not support defunding the police. His opponent, President Donald Trump, seems to agree. White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said the president was "appalled" at the very idea of defunding or dismantling police departments. 
Top congressional Democrats have attempted to step around the language of defunding, while pushing for more piecemeal reforms, including banning chokeholds and no-knock warrants in drug-related cases, creating a national registry to track police misconduct, and requiring state and local agencies to use federal funds to "ensure" the use of body cameras on all officers. 
Rep. Karen Bass, chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, said the focus on defunding draws attention away from viable reform efforts. 
“I think it can be used as a distraction, and that’s my concern,” she told reporters Monday. “I think the intent behind it is something that I support — the idea that communities need investments.”
Senate Republicans, meanwhile, are drafting their own bill, which they say shies away from restricting local police departments directly and instead focuses on teaching de-escalation tactics and offering more federal funding for body cameras. 
But as Congress sidesteps defunding in favor of other reforms, local governments have proven more receptive to the idea, with proposals ranging from major budget cuts to disbanding police departments entirely. Here's a look at what this protest slogan-turned-policy proposal means across the U.S. 

Disband vs Defund

The most dramatic proposal so far has come from Minneapolis, Minnesota, where the nation-spanning protests first began after the killing of George Floyd. 
On Sunday, a veto-proof majority of City Council members announced in a public park that they will “begin the process of ending the Minneapolis Police Department.”
So far, they have only provided hints of what that might look like — such as sending social workers or mental health professionals in place of police in emergency situations — but their goal is to spend the next year working with the community to shape a plan. 
“We recognize that we don’t have all the answers about what a police-free future looks like, but our community does,” said a statement from the council. “We’re committed to engaging with every willing community member in the City of Minneapolis over the next year to identify what safety looks like for you.”
No city the size of Minneapolis has ever attempted to disband its police force. In most cases when a police force is shut down, it's in a small town that could no longer afford the price tag, leaving a sheriff or volunteers to pick up the slack.
The closest big-city analog is Camden, New Jersey, which dissolved its police department back in 2013 and replaced it with a county-wide department that has since garnered praise for helping cut crime in half and restoring community trust. 
But Camden's goal in disbanding was ultimately to hire a new police force that would bring down violent crime and drive economic development. This is a far cry from what most supporters of disbanding or defunding are now proposing, which is to fundamentally overhaul the criminal justice system. 
For now, at least, the easier sell for many municipalities might be decreasing police funding and reallocating the money to other programs. 

Budget Season 

In some cities, however, the debate over criminal justice reforms is still focused on whether police should get even more funding — a de facto annual ritual for many cities. 
Across the river from Camden, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney came under fire this week for a budget request submitted before the recent protests broke out that included a $23 million increase for the police, while still slashing the civilian oversight board by 18 percent and cutting most other public programs. 
The increase has met with stiff resistance from city council members, a majority of whom signed a letter to the mayor this week telling him they would not support the current budget. 
"It is counterproductive to increase spending on the Police Department while cutting spending on public health, housing, social services, violence prevention, youth programs, libraries, parks, recreation centers, and the arts," the letter stated. 
A number of other cities find themselves facing similar impasses as summer budgetary deadlines fast approach. 
On Monday, the San Diego City Council almost unanimously approved a budget that increases police funding by $27 million, defying broad support in California's second-largest city for cuts. That same budget included $3 million for an “Office of Race Equity," which is supposed to work with the community to address systemic racial inequalities such as police abuse. 
On Sunday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced for the first time that he planned to divert some money from the $6 billion police department budget toward other social programs, but he did not specify how much or where the money would go. 
Chicago, meanwhile, is not committing to any cuts. Mayor Lori Lightfoot said defunding police to fund other programs shouldn't be “an either/or proposition." She emphasized the need for more investment in black communities. 
Confusion about the breadth of calls for change has not been the only challenge the movement has faced. The phrase itself has sometimes tripped up otherwise sympathetic local leaders. 
"When I first heard defund the police, I was like, no, we don't need anarchy here in our city," said Chris Hinds, a council member in Denver, Colorado, who has participated in protests. 
But once he got over the "somewhat abrasive title," the idea became more appealing. He said defunding essentially means looking at police budgets and "starting over from scratch," which could mean funneling money to other public services.
 "That means making sure we have additional funding for social workers, or mental health professionals, or certified drug and alcohol counselors," he said.