Dem Rep. Bush: We Must Defund the Police, Put Money into Education, Mental Health Services

Representative Cori Bush (D-MO) said Friday on ABC’s “The View” that she was pushing to a call to “defund our police departments.”

She suggested reallocating the money for education, housing and mental health.

Co-host Sara Haines said, “Congresswoman, to bring it back to police reform earlier this week when Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all counts of murdering George Floyd, you and Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley embraced. You said his conviction meant, ‘Accountability but not yet justice.’ What will that justice look like to you?”

Bush said, “So many of us sat by with bated breath wondering what’s going to happen with this verdict, and we shouldn’t have had to think that. You know, we were thinking, will a police officer be held accountable for his actions for killing another person with a knee on the neck that was actually on camera. We were wondering like will that happen? That is not justice in any way. Justice is where people are able to live in this country without there being — without their existence, very existence being the color of their skin making them an automatic threat to law enforcement.”

She continued, “Since we don’t have that in this country and people have been trying to figure it out for so long, you know what, my push is that we defund our police departments. I know people don’t want to hear, ‘Oh, we don’t want to talk about defunding.’ But I want people to be clear about what I mean when I say defunding the police. I’m saying demilitarize, and this is Cori. I’m not speaking for the entire Black Lives Matter movement. When I say defund the police, I’m saying our militarized police forces across this country. I’m saying $150,000 spent on an MRAP or $300,000. I’m saying ear gas and rubber bullets and stockpiling gear. I’m saying noise munitions, all of those things that we have in our police departments that hurt people like us. I know because I’m someone who has been hurt by that, by those things. If we remove that and take that money and put into our education system, put it into making sure our unhoused community members are sheltered, put into mental health resources, that’s what we’re saying because that is what is going to make our community safer.”

She added, “I’ll say this, almost a thousand people have been murdered by police, have been killed by police since George Floyd lost his life, almost a thousand. We cannot continue to do the same thing and expect something different.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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