Pastor Darrell Scott on Wednesday gave a scathing rebuke of leftists’ calls to “defund the police” in the wake of George Floyd’s killing, denouncing the push as an “unwise” and “irresponsible” effort that can result in long-term damage to American society.
Scott, the co-founder and CEO of President Donald Trump’s National Diversity Coalition, provided his assessment during a hearing on U.S. policing practices and law enforcement accountability held by the Democrat-controlled House Judiciary Committee.
He opened his written testimony, which he read out loud, by warning:
The prospect of defunding and/or dismantling of Police forces across the country is one of the most unwise, irresponsible proposals by American politicians in our nation history. It is nothing short of the politicizing of current social events, a reactionary measure that can result in short and long term damage to American society. … The criminal element in and of society would enjoy nothing better than a reduction in police presence and power.
Pastor Scott cautioned that the absence of law enforcement would potentially trigger a “rise in acts of domestic terrorism, mob rule, neighborhood intimidation and oppression, and vigilante-ism.”
“The weak, the timid, the elderly, retail establishments, single mothers, and youth would be especially vulnerable to criminal activity, as evidenced by the looting and vandalism of the past few weeks,” he added.
Some protests over the May 25 death of Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody descended into deadly riots and looting that left up to 15 people dead and dozens injured, many of them black.
Scott shared a cautionary tale about his hometown — Cleveland, OH — saying the city slashed funding for its police force and paid the price for it.
The move led to a rise in unlawfulness, namely murders, record-level property crimes, aggravated robberies, drug sale and abuse, as well as an unprecedented number of drug and alcohol-related accidents, the pastor testified.
“Defunding of police departments has already happened in a number of American Cities, and, rather than remedying problems, has actually made conditions much worse,” he said, adding:
In short, defunding of Police Departments has already happened, and it has proven to be an epic fail. … Community Policing is a very viable option to address the needs of inner-city communities. Having police in the communities to actually get to know the residents, is the best way to obtain the results that we all want.
He acknowledged the need for policing reforms, including the elimination of excessive force and racial profiling at the hands of officers.
The Democrat-controlled House panel allowed Republican members to call on three of the 12 witnesses, including Scott and former NYPD officer and Secret Service agent Dan Bongino, a radio host and Fox News contributor.
Bongino pleaded with lawmakers to put an end to the “defunding abomination before anyone gets hurt.”
He noted that “all lives matter.”
Although Democrat leaders have sought to distance themselves from the leftists’ calls to “defund the police,” calculating that it is politically toxic, at least a handful of the party’s lawmakers have come out in support of at least partially defunding law enforcement.
The push has become a rallying cry of protesters in the wake of Floyd’s death. Floyd, a black man, died after a now-fired white police officer Derek Chauvin kneed his neck for several minutes. Authorities have charged Chauvin with murder and three other officers who witnessed the heinous act, caught on camera, with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.
All 12 witnesses expressed opposition to defunding the police.