Democrats are having a tough time trying to shirk responsibility for the “Defund the Police” movement amid skyrocketing urban crime rates and their own words on-tape, the panel on “The Five” discussed on Monday.
The “Defund” movement blew up in Democrats faces over time, as cities like Portland, Ore., Philadelphia, Oakland, New York, Atlanta and Chicago have seen spikes in violent crime rates, host Greg Gutfeld noted; playing a montage of several big-city Democrats voicing support for defunding police or outwardly criticizing law enforcement.
In Boston, U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley was quoted as saying she explicitly supports the ‘Defund’ movement because “this is about the investments in our community which have historically been divested.”
Minneapolis’ Rep. Ilhan Omar called for “dismant[ling] and start[ing] anew,” while the Bronx’s Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez claimed suburbs have also begun re-allocating police funds to public schools and housing.
Also in the montage, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot declared in 2020 that Chicagoans “cannot rely upon the police to provide public safety.”
Most notably, then-Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., praised Los Angeles Democratic Mayor Eric Garcetti and told ABC News at the time that governments must “reexamine” where their funding is going.
Following the montage of Democrats showing support for defunding the police, host Jesse Watters posited that others in the Democratic Party are having a tough time now claiming they are not in favor of such drastic measures because they are unable to “play the race card” or use Donald Trump as a foil now that he is 1,000 miles away from the White House in Palm Beach.
“Notice how they’re not playing the race card. The Democrats are only good at that: at playing the race card – they either will censor conservatives or they will throw the race card down,” he said.
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“When they actually have to debate a policy — which they triggered – the substance of it – they are having a hard time and they are scrambling.”
Watters said Trump acted as a “crutch” for left-wing politicians and activists over the past four years, and that the Democrats are now exposed as having no viable solutions to crises they caused in a Trump-less environment.
“That’s why they are blaming Republicans and guns and it’s sad,” he said, adding that a “Five” producer researched the list of cities defunding the police and found that all 22 are run by Democrats.
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“It’s not a Republican issue. When you remove the racial obsession, it survived under the guise that this was a race issue, Black versus White, White cops versus Black suspects.”
Co-host Jessica Tarlov later pushed back on one of the comments from the montage, saying that while Harris had praised Garcetti’s policies, she herself has not been a proponent of defunding police.
For his part, following the death of George Floyd, Garcetti publicly disagreed with Black Lives Matter’s demand that 90% of the LAPD budget be slashed, instead voicing support for “reimagining public safety” and reallocating some funds, according to the city’s ABC affiliate.