By Farin Cloyd
WASHINGTON (AP) – In response to George Floyd’s murder, protesters across the country have called for the government to “defund the police” in an effort to abolish police brutality. Along with Trump’s rejection, notable Democrats, including presidential nominee Joe Biden, also disagree with the movement.
“I don’t support defunding the police. I support conditioning federal aid to police based on whether or not they meet certain basic standards of decency, honorableness and, in fact, are able to demonstrate they can protect the community, everybody in the community,” said Biden.
Supporters of the movement claim that the phrase “defund the police” is not to be taken literally, but to symbolize the push to end systemic racism in law enforcement. The wording has caused confusion across the political spectrum, and Biden is not the only key democrat who opposes the movement.
“By starting with the word ‘defund,’ you’ve left the impression that you are doing something much more radical than what needs to be done,” said former North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp.
Heitkamp worries that inciting such a radical movement will cause greater division giving the Republican Party the opportunity to win another election in just five short months.
Despite their public rejection, President Trump attempts to blame Democrats for the call to defund. Trump tweeted that 2020 has “the lowest crime number in our country’s recorded history,” which leads Democrats to “abandon” the police.
Michael McAdams, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee believes that this is an example of the Democratic Party’s “abolish culture.”
“First they wanted to abolish private health insurance, then it was capitalism and now it’s the police,” said McAdams.
Congressional Democrats proposed The Justice in Policing Act on Monday which would restrict the legal protections of police officers, especially in cases of using excessive force or brutal tactics.