Clyburn on Push to Defund the Police: ‘I Am Against Defund — I Do Not Like that Word’

Wednesday on “MSNBC Live,” Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) pushed back against the calls from those in his party to defund police departments across the nation in the wake of George Floyd’s death while in Minneapolis police custody.

Some have said the push to defund the police is more about changing funding, while others want to dismantle police departments altogether.

Clyburn backed the idea of reallocating funding, but said he is “against” using the term “defund.”

“I’m not against reallocating money. I’m all for reallocating money,” Clyburn told host Craig Melvin. “I am against defund. I do not like that word. The word means what it is. I’m going to have a problem with words like that. Look it up in the dictionary. What does it mean? So if you’re talking about reforming the police, then you and I are together.”

“What I’m for is us taking a hard look at our practices and have reforms where we need them,” he continued. “We need the police. We want the police. They have a role to play. And so let’s not get so carried away that we allow sloganeering to hijack this movement. That’s what happened to us back in the ’60s.”

The House majority whip added later added, “So, yes, reallocate resources, reform policing. No to defund the police.”

Follow Trent Baker on Twitter @MagnifiTrent

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