On Tuesday, Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson joined the chorus of voices denouncing those who want to “defund the police” over the death of George Floyd.
Speaking ahead of a Senate Committee Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee hearing on Tuesday, Carson said that police protect largely low-income communities, suggesting that those pushing the idea of defunding law enforcement come to terms with the reality of defunding police departments in some of the nation’s largest cities.
“Well, it’s low-income communities where the police are needed the most,” Carson said. “Places where there’s a lot of criminal activity, obviously you need to police. So, as usual, when people make decisions when they’re emotional, and they’re angry. They don’t think it through, and that’s what this, it will go away. When people have time to think it through and realize how irrational it is.”
Those behind the “defund the police” movement say that communities would be better served if funds directed toward law enforcement were put toward social services programs. Though Ben Carson believes social programs are important, he feels it is foolish to believe those programs are a front line defense.
“Social programs are important,” Carson said. “And they’re part of the entire system, but they’re not the front line when somebody is committing a crime, that’s just silly.”
Over the weekend in Minneapolis, the city where George Floyd died after being handcuffed by police, the city council voted, with a veto-proof majority, to defund the MPD; Democratic Mayor Jacob Frey said he opposes the measure.
“I’ll work relentlessly with Chief [Medaria] Arradondo and alongside community toward deep, structural reform and addressing systemic racism in police culture,” Frey said in a statement. “We’re ready to dig in and enact more community-led, public safety strategies on behalf of our city. But, I do not support abolishing the Minneapolis Police Department.”
Other prominent Democrats, including presidential candidate Joe Biden, have backed away from the #DefundThePolice hashtag, understanding the political risks of committing to the far-left proposal. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) even said that while he agrees with some of the sentiments expressed by those in the defund camp, he admitted it’s not a “slogan” he will use.
“No, I don’t support defunding the police,” Biden told “CBS Evening News” on Monday. “I support conditioning federal aid to police based on whether or not they meet certain basic standards of decency and honorableness and, in fact, are able to demonstrate they can protect the community.”
During a press conference on Monday, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said that President Trump is “appalled” by calls to defund the police.
“The president is appalled by the defund the police movement,” said McEnany. “And when you think the Left has gone far, and they couldn’t possibly go farther, because we all remember the defund ICE movement, and now they want to defund the police. This is extraordinary.”
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