Representative-elect Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) — the newest member of the progressive “Squad” in Congress — claimed that police are “terrorizing black and brown communities,” and he called for a “dramatic reduction” of police in “poor communities,” adding that “95 percent” of police work can be done by other professionals.
In an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash, Bowman said that the slogan “Defund the Police” means “a dramatic reduction in the number of police in our poor communities and. particularly, our poor black and brown communities.”
“Historically, when our communities have needed jobs, they didn’t bring us jobs. They brought us police, and they created a system of mass incarceration,” said Bowman, who went on to claim that in America, one is “more likely to be killed by police” if they are “black or brown.”
Only 5% of policing is focused on violent crime. The other 95% can be handled by other agencies. In some cities, 40% of the entire budget goes toward policing.
We have to do something different and not allow Republicans to flip a talking point on its head. pic.twitter.com/Mr9sSOp0wF
— Jamaal Bowman (@JamaalBowmanNY) December 3, 2020
“We live in a country where if you’re black or brown, you’re more likely to be killed by police and more likely to be incarcerated, and more likely to not afford bail,” the Rep.-elect told Bash.
Bowman was responding to Bash’s question about whether he believed the slogan “Defund the Police” was “bad messaging.”
“Only five percent of police work is focused on violent crimes — rape, homicide, aggravated assault,” added Bowman. “The other 95 percent can be handled by other agencies, mental health institutions, domestic violence professionals, etc.”
While Bowman did not cite where he has been getting his information from, a recent New York Times analysis found that about four percent of policing in just three jurisdictions was spent dealing with violent crime.
Bowman went on to insist that police officers have been “terrorizing black and brown communities,” without ever being corrected or challenged by the CNN host.
“We’ve been doing policing all wrong for decades,” Bowman affirmed. “In some cities, 40 percent of the budget goes toward policing, and police are terrorizing black and brown communities.”
“So we have to do something different and not allow Republicans to flip a talking point on its head,” continued Bowman, who added that the slogan “Defund the Police” is actually about “reimaging our country.”
Former President Barack Obama recently said that “snappy” slogans such as Defund the Police have lost people across the board.
“You lost a big audience the minute you say it, which makes it a lot less likely that you’re actually going to get the changes you want done,” Obama explained.
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) — and fellow “Squad” member — reacted to Obama’s remarks, stating that it is “not a slogan but a policy demand.”
“We lose people in the hands of police. It’s not a slogan but a policy demand. And centering the demand for equitable investments and budgets for communities across the country gets us progress and safety,” said Omar in response to Obama’s advice to the far-left.
A Gallup poll in August found that most black Americans — 61 percent — prefer that police presence remain the same in their communities, while 20 percent of black Americans say they would like the police to spend more time in their area, with 19 percent saying they preferred police spend less time there.