Facing continuing calls by activists to defund the police budget by half, top Asheville officials are saying they support a "divest and invest" strategy and "reimagining" public safety — but the amount to be cut remains unclear and timing is in question. 

With demonstrators outside calling in to their July 28 meeting, council members agreed that changes should come to the Asheville Police Department budget, but argued late into Tuesday night over how to handle calls for immediate defunding, the Citizen Times reports.

Some, including outgoing Councilman Vijay Kapoor called for full funding for all departments with a plan to come back and make changes. That would avoid a potential government shutdown, he said. Others, such as Councilman Keith Young, said full funding should wait until a planned Sept. 22 strategy for APD divestment.

A vote on the issue is planned July 30.

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