Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Shuts Down Tlaib's #DefundPolice Push


The chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus shut down calls from activists and their supporters — including her colleague, Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib — for a national defunding of police departments.

However, the chairwoman, Democratic Rep. Karen Bass of California, said the House of Representatives plans to pass police reforms this month.

Black Lives Matter activists and protesters have been circulating a petition to #DefundThePolice in the wake of George Floyd’s death while in police custody in Minneapolis.

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The movement wants governments to stop funding police departments and instead give the money to education, health care and other social services.

Bass said she doesn’t think defunding the police is the answer to the issue, Fox News reported.

“No, I don’t believe that we should defund police departments,” she said during a Wednesday news conference.

Bass met with leaders of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus and the Congressional Native American Caucus to call for a package of police reform bills that could be passed later this month.

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The movement to defund the police, supported by leftist activists and celebrities such as singer John Legend, was endorsed by Tlaib in a tweet Sunday.

“Instead of *who* killed #GeorgeFloyd, we should focus on *what* killed George. Until then, we won’t have justice,” said Tlaib, a member of “the squad” of progressive freshmen congresswomen.

“Know that it’s still both, but don’t let the ‘who’ overshadow the decades of structural racism that has created the system that allows police officer after police officer off the hook for murder,” she said. “I just want us to dig deeper so that the #DefundPolice movement isn’t brushed aside.”

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Bass said the proposals the House is working on aim to hold law enforcement officers accountable for their actions.

“The most important is holding police accountable because right now it is difficult to sue, you can very rarely fire and you can almost never prosecute,” she said.

“So we need to deal with the laws that make is so difficult to hold police accountable.”

A package of bills is also being developed in the Senate by the Congressional Black Caucus and Democratic Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kamala Harris of California.

“Persistent, unchecked bias in policing and a history of lack of accountability is wreaking havoc on the Black community,” Booker said in a statement.

“Cities are literally on fire with the pain and anguish wrought by the violence visited upon black and brown bodies,” he said. “There’s no one singular policy change that will fix this issue tomorrow — we need an entire set of holistic reforms to improve police training and practices, and ensure greater accountability and transparency.”

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith