WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — The movement known as “defund the police” is a rallying call sweeping the nation in the wake of George Floyd is now the center of outrage on Capitol Hill.
Supporters of the initiative say it’s intended to reallocate police spending towards community resources.
U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-MO, says the movement puts lives in danger.
“I think that defunding the police is insane, there’s just no other way to put it,” said Hawley, a former attorney general. “Our local neighborhoods and our children and our streets will be at risk. I think it’s crazy”
Hawley calls the movement an attack on law enforcement and linked it to congressional Democrats’ new police reform bill.
“I will never agree to defund the police. I will never agree to take away their rights to get warrants. I will never agree to take away their protective equipment the gear that they need or to put them anymore in the line of fire that they already are,” he said.
But Democrats say their reform bill doesn’t cut police spending. Instead, it would limit police purchases of military equipment, ban no-knock warrants and makes it easier for victims of police brutality to sue.
“This is clearly addressing police accountability and how the African American community is policed,” said U.S. Rep. Lacy Clay, D-MO.
Clay says the plan is needed to end police brutality.
But Hawley says the Democratic bill doesn’t stand a chance in the Senate, but that they will examine separate reforms.
“The Judiciary Committee in the Senate is going to have a hearing on police best practices,” Hawley said.
House Democrats will hold their first hearing on the bill Wednesday.
Also on Tuesday, Hawley introduced a resolution to honor law enforcement, specifically David Dorn, the St. Louis police officer who was killed during a protest in his city.