Democratic Congresswoman Karen Bass, the chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, said the movement to “defund the police” has “one of the worst slogans ever.”
“I told some friends that’s probably one of the worst slogans ever,” Bass said during a live broadcast with the Washington Post on Monday, as the New York Post reports.
As thousands of people across the country continue to protest against police brutality and for reforms to law enforcement, the California representative said larger societal reforms—not just police reforms—were necessary for Los Angeles.
“Police officers are the first ones to say they are law enforcement officers, they’re not social workers. What we have done in our country is, we have not invested in health, social and economic problems in communities. We leave the police to pick up the pieces,” she said. “In my city, for example, on any given night, we have over 40,000 people who are homeless. Why should the police be involved with that?”
Bass argued cities should re-evaluate how they approach their respective problems, suggesting they should deal with social issues before law enforcement is needing to get involved.
“Why doesn’t a city deal with its social problems so not so much money would have to go to law enforcement?” she questioned.
The New York Post adds:
Bass said officers often get in “physical conflicts that have terrible results” because they get involved with situations and people they are ill-equipped to handle.
The “defund the police” movement has gained ground among protesters following the death of George Floyd, who was killed when a Minneapolis police officer kept his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes.
Floyd’s death on May 25 sparked demonstrations that spread across the country and the world against police brutality and for criminal justice reform.
Talk show host Bill Maher similarly disapproved of the phrase “defund the police.”
During a segment last week, Maher applauded efforts to take funds from police departments and to reallocate them to community service efforts as “a very good thing [and a] good idea.”
The “Real Time” host said, however, the movement’s branding and the mantra “Defund the police” do more harm than good on the issue and in Democrats’ greater political battle against President Trump.
“Liberals want to take police money, police funds and divert it to community services, which sounds like a very good thing, good idea,” he said per Fox News. “But they’re calling it ‘Defund the police,’ which sounds bad!”
“That’s so ‘Democrats’ for you,” he continued. “You know, they must have meetings to be this f***ing stupid about politics. ‘Hey guys, we’re making some headway here, how could we turn this into something that makes people have to vote for Trump?'”