The White House tried to distance Democrats from the radical ‘Defund the Police’ movement this week by claiming Republicans are the ones who really defunded law enforcement, by voting against President Joe Biden’s coronavirus relief package earlier this year.
Cedric Richmond, one of Biden’s top advisers, first made this allegation during a press conference about gun violence in the U.S.
“Let’s talk about who defunded the police,” he said. “When we were in Congress last year trying to pass a rescue plan … it was the Republicans who objected to it.”
“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,” Richmond continued.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki defended this allegation during a later press briefing, even after Fox News reporter Peter Doocy pointed out that Biden’s American Rescue Plan had nothing to do with stopping the crime wave.
“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,” she claimed.
Hours after Psaki’s comments, the Democratic-run city of Oakland, Calif. approved a budget on Monday that diverted nearly $20 million away from its police department and towards other social services.
Sen. Tim Scott, R-SC, blasted Biden officials for trying to pin the ‘Defund the Police’ movement on Republicans when it is obvious only Democratic cities are actually stripping law enforcement of the resources they need.
“That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard all year long, and we’ve heard some very ridiculous things from the Democrats,” he said of the White House’s accusation.
“The facts are simple,” he continued, “Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, Cleveland and New York, Baltimore — all have defunded the police. What we’ve seen is a 40% increase in violent crime in major cities because the Democrats have been defunding the police for the last year.”