Democrats Pass Police Funding Bills 2 Years After Leading ‘Defund the Police’ Movement

House Democrats passed a package in support of more policing and public safety just two years after pioneering the liberal ‘Defund the Police’ movement.

QUICK FACTS:
  • Democrats have passed new police funding bills just two years after leading the “Defund the Police’ trend following the murder of criminal George Floyd.
  • The new sentiment of supporting police is a far cry from 2020, as departments across the country were set to be “dismantled” in order to keep the “community safe” at the time.
  • “The bottom line is that you can’t cut it or defund your way to safer communities and better police departments,” Rep. Josh Gottheimer, (D-NJ) said recently. “It’s about investing to protect. We must always have the backs of those who risked their lives every day to protect us.”
U.S. CITIES THAT DEFUNDED POLICE DEPARTMENTS AS OF 2021:
  • Denver, Colorado removed police from schools, cutting $34 million from the budget.
  • Portland, Oregon cut $15 million from its budget and disbanded a gun violence reduction unit.
  • San Francisco, California pledged to divest $120 million from police to health programs and workforce training.
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota used police cuts to “launch a mental health team to respond to 911 calls.”
  • New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, Milwaukee, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Austin and other democrat-run cities were also among those to reduce police funding.
  • “Public health and public safety are at the heart of this,” Chris Harris, criminal justice director at Texas Appleseed, a local nonprofit said at the time. “When we take policing away, we are actually filling that void with alternatives that we know are going to help.”
BACKGROUND:
  • In June 2020, Democrats plastered the “Defund the Police” movement across the country, calling for law enforcement to be abolished and claiming that “by prioritizing public health and social support, we can eliminate our reliance on surveillance and enforcement.”
  • “Instead of spending $80 billion a year on jails and incarceration, we need to be investing in more jobs and education. One thing is abundantly clear: Every police department violating people’s civil rights must be stripped of federal funding. Period,” Democratic Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib said at the time.
  • As a result, crime spiked, police departments experienced serious shortages, and criminals overtook the streets.
  • Democrats avoided pointing to the defund movement as a reason for the rise in crime across the country, instead placing blame elsewhere.
  • Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot ridiculed retailers for the smash-and-grabs, criticizing them for failing to lock their stores, while former White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that COVID was the reason for the crime surge.