Boston has declared racism a public health emergency and will divert funds meant for police overtime toward community programs. Mayor Marty Walsh announced the change on Friday and posted the plan on Twitter. According to the new initiative, 20 percent, or about $12 million, of police overtime funds budgeted for 2021 fiscal year will be reallocated to "community programs for youth, for homelessness, for people struggling with the effects of inequality. The health impacts of historic and systemic racism are clear in our Covid-19 case numbers," Walsh said. "And the impacts go far beyond this current crisis." Boston's police commissioner welcomed the mayor's reforms. The announcement comes as police departments and lawmakers across the country face pressure to address racism in law enforcement and to prevent police brutality in the wake of the death of George Floyd.

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