Hundreds of citizens call for Chattanooga to defund police during marathon council meeting

Staff photo by Troy Stolt / Two motorists cheer on a crowd of protesters as they march down Market Street during the third day of protests on Monday, June 1, 2020, in Chattanooga, Tenn., over the death of George Floyd under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer.

More than 250 Chattanoogans were pleading with the City Council on Tuesday night to address policing issues at a marathon budget hearing.

The meeting began at 6 p.m. Tuesday and was still going hours later, when 76 of the 257 registered public speakers had addressed the council, all calling for the city to divest from the Chattanooga Police Department's $71 million budget and to reinvest in underrepresented communities and social programs.

(READ MORE: 7 demands from 7 nights of George Floyd protests in Chattanooga)

After 10 consecutive nights of protests and marches throughout the city in response to a national outcry against police brutality after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, hundreds of Chattanoogans spent their night of rest advocating for the council to vote against the proposed 2021 budget in order to re-prioritize funding.