With more than 75% of Americans and super-majorities in both parties calling for the officers involved in George Floyd’s death to be charged, the immediate cause of the current protests haven’t been divided along party lines, but Democrats have definitely been the stronger supporters.
Apparently, that support stops somewhere short of gutting police departments or de-funding them to move funds to social programs.
Senator Cory Booker said he understood the sentiment behind the “defund the police” push, but would not use that phrase.
“We are over-policed as a society.”
Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries of New York said:
“You have to look at that on a case-by-case basis.”
Maybe they started getting calls from powerful police unions, who wouldn’t look favorably on government officials who cut off some of their funds.
Democrats are expected to introduce legislation on Monday to combat police violence and racial injustice, including making it easier to sue officers who kill. The bill might include changes to how police departments are funded.
One voice was clear. Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota called for the Minneapolis police department to be disbanded, tweeting that it was “beyond reform.”
Any change in funding for police seems likely to hurt the very people who need the most help, those who live in poor and dangerous neighborhoods.