In the past few days, the Biden Administration has been attempting to shift crime wave blame onto Republicans by accusing them of “defunding the police” — despite evidence to the contrary.
Biden advisor Cedric Richmond first accused Republicans of defunding the police on “Fox News Sunday”:
Let’s talk about who defunded the police. When we were in Congress last year trying to pass a rescue plan — I’m sorry, not the rescue plan but an emergency relief plan for cities that were cash-strapped and laying off police and firefighters — it was the Republicans who objected to it. And in fact, they didn’t get funding until the American Rescue Plan, which our plan allowed state and local governments to replenish their police departments and do the other things that are needed.
So look, Republicans are very good at staying on talking points of who says defund the police, but the truth is, they defunded the police, we funded crime intervention, and a whole bunch of other things. (emphasis added)
During a White House press conference on Monday, Fox News’ Peter Doocy asked White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki if she agreed with Richmond’s assessment:
Well, the president did mention that the American Rescue Plan, the state and local funding, something that was supported by the president, a lot of Democrats who supported and voted for the bill, could help ensure local cops were kept on the beat in communities across the country. As you know, [it] didn’t receive a single Republican vote. That funding has been used to keep cops on the beat. (emphasis added)
A fact check found Richmond and Psakis’ assertion to be misleading and false.
“Although the White House did use the talking point that the broad grants to localities could be used to help police departments and first responders, the American Rescue Plan did not include specific funding to hire more police officers,” Breitbart News reported.
Despite an attempt to change the narrative, the facts speak for themselves: Democrats have been rallying to defund the police for more than a year, and simultaneously, crime has drastically risen in America’s biggest — Democrat-run — cities.
Here are just a few big cities that have slashed police department budgets this past year:
1. New York
In June of 2020, New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio cut $1 billion from the budget of the New York City Police Department (NYPD), despite a surge in shootings in the wake of protests and violent unrest sparked by the death of George Floyd. Since then, de Blasio decided to reinstate $92 million to build a new precinct cut from the budget last year. From January 1 through May 23, 2021 there were 531 shootings in the city, up from 295 during the same period last year, Breitbart News reported.
Last year, the Philadelphia City Council gave approval to cut $33 million for the police department. Now, “Philadelphia is on pace to have one of its deadliest years on record,” NBC10 Philadelphia reported.
Lawmakers promised to cut $15 million from the police department budget in June of 2020. In May, the Washington Post reported that homicides increased 38 percent compared to the same time in 2020.
The Baltimore City Council voted to slash $22 million in police spending, the Baltimore Sun reported in June of 2020. This June, Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said he would like to “see more “boots on the ground” and additional funding for his department amid a surge in violent crime in cities across the country,” the Hill reported.
Mayor Brandon Scott, who as a city councilman led efforts to cut the police budget by $22 million, has since proposed a $27 million increase.
5. Los Angeles
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti wants an increase in police spending of about $50 million after the city cut $150 million last year, Breitbart News reported.
On June 12, 2020, Breitbart News reported the Minneapolis city council pledged unanimously to disband the city’s police department. By June 18, 2021, the Minneapolis City Council approved $5 million to pay for police overtime.
“MPD was down to 632 active officers through the end of May. That’s a 25 percent drop from 845 police in 2020. As of last week, 60 officers are on disability leave,” CBS Minnesota reported. “Deputy Chief Erick Fors told the committee that the number of gunshot victims has more than doubled from this point last year to this year, increasing from 116 to 259. Homicides have increased by 81 percent over the same time period.”
The Seattle City Council approved proposals in August of 2020 that would reduce the police department by as many as 100 officers through layoffs and attrition, Breitbart News reported.
City commissioners cut nearly $16 million from the police in June of 2020. Portland Police Association Executive Director Daryl Turner warned during an appearance on NBC Nightly News in late June this year that officer morale is “as bad as it’s ever been” as the Democrat-run city experiences a sharp rise in violent crime.
Democrat support for “reallocation of police funds” (AKA defunding) can be seen not only in big city budgets, but also in their rhetoric:
Biden’s press secretary is lying.
Democrats are the ones who are DEFUNDING THE POLICE.
Roll the tape! 📽 pic.twitter.com/r3RYLDX8kX
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) June 29, 2021
- President Joe Biden said he supported reallocating police resources during his campaign.
- Vice President Kamala Harris said “I applaud Eric Garcetti” for defunding the Los Angeles police, and said “we have to reimagine public safety” while discussing lowering the police presence in communities.
- Biden’s Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta said officials must heed calls to “decrease police budgets and the scope, role, and responsibility of police in our lives.”
- As Boston Mayor, Biden’s Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh proposed a budget to divert funding from law enforcement.
- Biden’s Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke wrote an op-ed for Newsweek in 2020 supporting efforts to “defund the police.”
- Rep. Val Demings (D-FL) called the Minneapolis City Council “very thoughtful” for voting to dismantle the police.
- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and fellow House Democrats refused to criticize the Minneapolis City Council for defunding the police.
- Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) told protestors to “get more confrontational” with police.
- Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) called for dismantling the Minneapolis Police Department.
- Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) called for defunding police as a congresswoman-elect.
- A Democratic National Convention panelist advocated for defunding the police.
- A Minneapolis City Council member defended defunding the police, but said she didn’t “have all the answers” on who would respond to violent crime.
- House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) compared federal law enforcement to the Nazi Gestapo. He later ignored looting and arson in D.C., claiming the only violence he saw in D.C. was from police.
- Democrat Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said he doesn’t want police officers to respond to rape.
- Former Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-MA) said he supported Maxine Waters’ call to confront the police.
Even though violent crime has risen significantly in the past year, Democrats are still calling for the defunding of police departments around the country:
- Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) stood by her calls to “reallocate resources away” from police while saying the crime surge is just “hysteria.”
- Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) said she still supports defunding the police.