Pelosi says ‘defund the police’ is ‘not the position of the Democratic Party’
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Sunday said “defund the police” is “not the position of the Democratic Party,” a direct response to Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.), who recently said she stands behind the slogan despite some of her colleagues disagreeing with the phrase.
“Well, with all the respect in the world for Cori Bush, that is not the position of the Democratic Party,” Pelosi told anchor George Stephanopoulos when asked on ABC’s “This Week” about Bush’s comments and how she thinks Democrats should be addressing rising crime.
“Community safety, to protect and defend in every way, is our oath of office. And I have sympathy — I — we’re all concerned about mistreatment of people,” she added, before pointing to the Justice in Policing Act, which would overhaul national policing standards on a number of levels.
The bill, which the House passed in March, is named after George Floyd, who died in May 2020 after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who was later found guilty of murder charges, knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
Pelosi told Stephanopoulos “make no mistake, community safety is our responsibility.”
.@SpeakerPelosi says “defund the police” is “not the position of the Democratic Party” as lawmakers remains split over how to address crime.
“Community safety, to protect and defend in every way, is our oath of office.” https://t.co/sGomlyuTgq pic.twitter.com/ju7ebDFLnL
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) February 13, 2022
Bush, a first-term congresswoman from Missouri, told a group of Black reporters last week that “ ‘defund the police’ is not the problem,” according to Axios.
“We dangled the carrot in front of people’s faces and said we can get it done and that Democrats deliver, when we haven’t totally delivered,” she added.
The Missouri lawmaker said she frequently tells her Democratic colleagues that “if you all had fixed this before I got here, I wouldn’t have to say these things.”
Asked if she feels pressure from colleagues to alter her rhetoric, Bush said, “oh, absolutely,” telling reporters that she has “had colleagues walk up to me” and say the phrase is not helpful for them back at home.
She emphasized, however, that she will not change her posture until significant reforms are enacted.
Bush has for some time utilized the “defund the police” slogan. In August she said “defunding the police has to happen.”
“We need to defund the police and put that money into social safety nets, because we’re trying to save lives,” she added.
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