House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) says police will not be defunded.
In the wake of George Floyd’s tragic death, progressive Democrats, including Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), are supporting a movement to defund and abolish police departments. They claim systematic oppression is central to the DNA of modern policing, thwarting attempts at reform.
However, the third-in-command House Democrat told CNN host Jake Tapper on “State of the Union” Sunday that the wildly unpopular movement will not succeed.
“Nobody is going to defund the police,” Clyburn said.
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Instead, Clyburn said criminal justice reform must “restructure” and “re-imagine” policing.
“We can restructure the police forces, restructure, re-imagine policing. That is what we are going to do. The fact of the matter is, the police have a role to play,” Clyburn explained. “What we have got to do is make sure that their role is one that meets the times, one that responds to these communities that they operate in.”
“I didn’t grow up in fear of police, even in a segregated environment. We never feared the police. But, all of a sudden now, I do fear the police,” he continued.
“The fact of the matter is, this is a structure that has been developed that we have got to deconstruct,” Clyburn said. “So, I wouldn’t say defund. Deconstruct our policing.”
Despite Clyburn’s sensibility, Minneapolis leaders, almost all of whom are Democrats, are moving to defund the city’s police department.
On Friday, the Minneapolis City Council unanimously voted to replace its police department with a new system for public safety.
As TheBlaze reported, Minneapolis police officers, who feel that city leaders have failed to defend them, are leaving the job en masse.