President Donald Trump declared he would not be “defunding” law enforcement agencies as the movement to “defund the police” gains support from activists across the country and Democrats in Congress.
“There won’t be defunding. There won’t be dismantling of our police and there’s not going to be any disbanding of our police,” Trump said during a roundtable meeting with law enforcement officers Monday.
“Our police have been letting us live in peace. We want to make sure we don’t have any bad actors in there.”
He added that “99 percent” are “great, great people.”
VIDEO: “We won’t be defunding our police. We won’t be dismantling our police,” says US President Donald Trump at a meeting with law enforcement officials in the White House. There have been calls for police reform in the United States after the death of George Floyd pic.twitter.com/MyU4DBCD1O
— AFP news agency (@AFP) June 9, 2020
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany echoed the president’s remarks in a media briefing.
“The president is appalled by the defund the police movement,” McEnany told reporters Monday.
She pointed to Reps. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York as two of the many Democrats supporting the movement.
“This is extraordinary. This is rolling back the protective layers that protect Americans in their homes and in their places of business,” McEnany said.
It’s unclear how exactly the Trump administration would aim to stop local police departments from being defunded if state and local governments decide to pursue such a policy.
Black Lives Matter activists and protesters have been circulating a petition to #DefundThePolice following the death of George Floyd, who died on May 25 in Minneapolis after a police officer knelt on his neck for roughly nine minutes during an arrest.
The Justice in Policing Act of 2020 was introduced Monday by a multitude of Democratic members of Congress, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and members of the Congressional Black Caucus, including Sens. Kamala Harris of California and Cory Booker of New Jersey, BBC News reported.
“America has a serious and deadly problem when it comes to the discriminatory and excessive policing of communities of color — and that policing exists within a system that time and again refuses to hold police accountable for their brutality,” Booker said in a statement.
The bill says it will hold police accountable and change the culture of law enforcement by prohibiting federal, state and local law enforcement from “racial, religious and discriminatory profiling,” according to a summary on the House Judiciary Committee website.
At the federal level, officers would be required to use dashboard cameras and body cameras, and no-knock warrants would be banned.
“For every incident of excessive force that makes headlines, the ugly truth is that there are countless others that we never hear about. This is a systemic problem that requires a comprehensive solution,” House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler said in a statement.
“This bold, transformative legislation will finally ban chokeholds at the federal level and incentivize states to do the same, it will help end racial profiling, get weapons of war off our streets, hold police accountable, increase transparency and require and encourage greater use of body cameras.”
The bill aims to make it easier to hold police officers liable for civil rights violations, and would withhold federal funds from law enforcement agencies that do not make certain changes.
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