‘Squad’ Members Announce Proposal to Defund Police, Offer Reparations for ‘Criminalization of Prostitution’

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., left, Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., center, and Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., right, attend a House Oversight Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, July 16, 2019, on White House counselor Kellyanne Conway's violation of the Hatch Act. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Susan Walsh/AP Photo

Far-left “Squad” members Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) partnered with the coalition Movement for Black Lives in promoting a bill filled with radical proposals, including defunding the police, abolishing ICE, eliminating state gang databases, establishing a commission to design reparations, and developing curriculums that “examine the political, economic, and social impacts of colonialism, genocide against indigenous people, and slavery.”

The two lawmakers reportedly announced the “BREATHE Act” in a virtual meeting on Tuesday. Tlaib described the measure as ushering in a “new version for public safety — a new vision for public safety, one that protects and affirms black lives.”

We must invest in a new vision of public safety. Today, I am proud to join the calls coming out of one of the largest movements for justice that my district and our country have ever seen to say unapologetically: I support the #BREATHEAct,” Tlaib announced:

An online overview details the radical demands laid out in the proposal, which is backed by the far-left lawmakers who are expected to introduce the bill to Congress.

The bill would, in part, “eliminate federal programs and agencies used to finance and expand the U.S. criminal-legal system” — agencies and programs including the “Department of Defense 1033 program, the Edward Byrne-Justice Assistance Grant Program, Community Oriented Policing Services, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement [ICE].” It would also “make recommendations to dramatically reduce the Department of Defense budget.”

The proposal also calls for defunding the police, eliminating state gang databases, nixing laws criminalizing illegal border entry, removing police presence from schools, and investing in the development of programs that “examine the political, economic, and social impacts of colonialism, genocide against indigenous people, and slavery.”

It also calls for the passage of Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee’s (D-TX) Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act.

The proposal specifically seeks to establish commissions that “design reparations for mass criminalization—including the War on Drugs, the criminalization of prostitution, and police violence; border violence; and the systemic violation of the U.S. Government’s treaty obligations to Tribal nations,” according to the guide.

The proposal follows rising demands for police reform following the May death of George Floyd.

Several Democrat lawmakers have since demonstrated support for defunding the police, or in the very least diverting funds to other programs.


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