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Whitmer Sympathizes w/ ‘Defund the Police’ Movement — Then Backtracks

‘I think we want to redefine what police departments do…’

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Gretchen Whitmer/PHOTO: Michigan Office of the Governor

(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is backtracking on recent comments she made in support of the radical leftist “Defund the Police” movement.

On Monday, Whitmer said she supports the “spirit” of the movement to abolish law-enforcement in the wake of George Floyd‘s death and the ensuing race-riots to protest police brutality.

“You look at budgets, and they’re focused on policing—they should be focused on education, transportation, access to healthcare, access to skills and leveling the playing field,” Whitmer told The Root on Monday.

“If you do all those other things, you don’t need all the money that’s going to the police departments,” she continued. “So, yeah, I mean, the spirit of it, I do support that spirit of it.”

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But after facing criticism, Whitmer ‘clarified’ her statement on Wednesday with what appeared to be a full reversal: “I don’t believe the police should be defunded,” she told the Detroit Free Press.

“Defund the Police” activists maintain that they merely want to reallocate funding from police departments to other public sectors, such as healthcare and education. But the underlying goal of the movement—according to Antifa activists who are currently holding hostage several blocks of downtown Seattle—-is to rid communities of police entirely.

Even the Minneapolis City Council, which voted this weekend to begin defunding the city’s police department, admitted in its statement that it believes a “police-free future” is reasonable.

But those radical demands may pose a problem for Democrats at the national level, who see it as a potentially winning wedge issue for President Donald Trump, who campaigned in 2016, following several Obama-era race riots, on a platform of law and order.

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It also poses political complications as Democrats struggle to find their true identity somewhere between the unbridled authoritarianism that figures like Whitmer embraced during recent coronavirus lockdowns—which relied on a heavy police presence to quell unrest and dissent— to the current swerve toward anti-authoritarian anarchy.

Even socialism-promoting Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., was reluctant to publicly endorse the goal.

“Do I think we should not have police departments in America? No, I don’t. There’s no city in the world that does not have police departments,” Sanders said this week.

“I think we want to redefine what police departments do, give them the support they need to make their jobs better defined,” he continued. “So I do believe that we need well-trained, well-educated, and well-paid professionals in police departments. Anyone who thinks that we should abolish all police departments in America, I don’t agree.”

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