Valerie Jarrett Rejects Push to Defund Police: ‘Democracy Depends Upon Having Law Enforcement’

A long time adviser to former President Barack Obama is speaking out against the push to defund police departments.

“Democracy depends upon having law enforcement,” Valerie Jarrett said in an interview with Time Magazine.

She continued, “The challenge here is that much of our law enforcement we know is not just.”

“I might argue you might need more money for law enforcement— in recruitment, and training, adding equipment, maybe body cameras, other types of resources that are available so that the public can see what’s going on,” she added.

Several Democratic leaders have come out in recent days to push back on the “Defund The Police” movement that has gained new energy in the wake of George Floyd’s death, as IJR reported.

Some activists have called for police departments to be disbanded, while others have called for the departments’ budgets to be cut.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) also said he does not support the push to abolish police departments, “Do I think we should not have police departments in America? No, I don’t.”

“There’s no city in the world that does not have police departments. What you need are—I didn’t call for more money for police departments. I called for police departments that have well-educated, well-trained, well-paid professionals,” he said. 

And House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said, “We could re-balance some of our funding to address some of those issues more directly.”

“But this isn’t about that, and that should not be the story that leaves here,” she added.

In an interview on MSNBC, Pelosi said, “The funding of police is a local matter, as you know. From the standpoint of our legislation, we’re not going to that place. What we’re doing is talking about how we change policy to make our policing more just.”

However, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) is urging Democrats against trying to “repackage this whole conversation to make it palatable for largely affluent, white suburban ‘swing’ voters.”

She explained that “Defund The Police” activists are calling for, “‘Defund’ means that Black [and] Brown communities are asking for the same budget priorities that White communities have already created for themselves: schooling [is greater than] police, etc.”

“People asked in other ways, but were always told ‘No, how do you pay for it?’ So they found the line item,” she added.

Responses

  1. Who would have thought! It seems the prior administration did have a few good people.

    1. I have not encountered an intelligent Democrat that supports “defunding the police.” It would have been HELPFUL Whoever the wacko is that came up with the idea appears to NOT be aware as Speaker Pelosi points out, police funding is a state and local matter.

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