Lawmakers weigh in on defunding police debate

U.S. & World

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WASHINGTON D.C. (WCMH)— The push by some activists to “defund the police” is getting headlines, and now it’s being dissected to define what it means.

“I don’t think anyone knows exactly what it means,” Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown said.

Brown added he does not see it as a call to get rid of police.

“What we should do is look at how we’re funding the police,” he said.

He says that means prioritizing where and how money is best spent.

“Do we spend a little less on police and more on social workers, and more on dealing with the causes of so much social unrest?” Brown asked.

Democrats aren’t only ones trying to figure out what the phrase means.

“So defund, if it means we’re going to give police departments and communities less money, I’m 100 percent opposed to that,” Indiana representative Greg Pence said.

Pence says it’s time to empower first responders.

“They need more support, they don’t need less support,” he said.

Indiana democratic representative Andre Carson says republicans are exploiting the phrase’s ambiguity.

“I mean this is an opportunity unfortunately for Republicans to try to paint Democrats as being anti-police,” Carson said. “Democrats are not anti-police. We’re for better policing.”

Carson, who is also a former police officer, says better policing means more accountability and less militarization.

“It also means allotting those funds to have case workers on site dealing with citizens as well,” he said.

On Monday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said any “defunding decisions” are up to local communities.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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