Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza said Sunday that defunding the police means reorganizing society’s priorities.
"When we talk about defunding the police, what we're saying is 'invest in the resources that our communities need,’” she said on NBC's "Meet the Press," citing housing and education.
“Why can't we start to look at how it is that we reorganize our priorities so people don’t have to be in the streets protesting ... in a global pandemic?” she added.
EXCLUSIVE on #MTP: Black Lives Matter Co-founder @aliciagarza explains the call to “Defund the Police.” #IfItsSunday— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) June 7, 2020
“Why can’t we look at how it is that we reorganize our priorities so people don’t have to be in the streets during a national pandemic, a global pandemic.” pic.twitter.com/JUazC3is02
The movement’s co-founder also responded to Sen. Cory BookerCory BookerLawmakers gear up for spending bill, infrastructure votes Booker: End of police reform negotiations a 'frustrating experience' Sunday shows - All eyes on spending votes MORE’s (D-N.J.) comments in a preceding interview that while he understands the “sentiment and the substance” behind the phrase, “it’s not a slogan I will use.”
"Are we willing to live in fear that our lives will be taken by police officers who are literally using their power in the wrong way?” she asked. “Or are we willing to adopt and absorb the fear of what it might mean to change our practices, which will ultimately lead to a better quality of life for everyone.”
Garza said Black Lives Matter used to be a “radical idea,” but now it is being discussed “across kitchen tables all over the world.”
Protests erupted across the country over the police mistreatment of minorities after Floyd died while in police custody. Video footage showed a former Minneapolis police officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck while he said he couldn’t breathe and became unresponsive.