Former Vice President Joe Biden and other high-profile Democrats are pushing back on the idea that police departments should have their funding cut as calls to do so echo nationwide.
Two weeks after the killing of George Floyd, a black man, by a white police officer in Minneapolis, Democrats are responding to demands to defund the police. Their opinions do not align with the idea spread by the Black Lives Matter group.
"As his criminal justice proposal made clear months ago, Vice President Biden does not believe that police should be defunded," Biden spokesmen Andrew Bates said Monday.
Later during an interview with CBS News, Biden said, "No, I don't support defunding the police. I support conditioning federal aid to police, based on whether or not they meet certain basic standards of decency and honorableness."
Biden, his party's presumptive presidential nominee in the November election, is not alone in having that viewpoint.
"I can't imagine that happening in a federal way," said Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., according to The Hill. Bass chairs the Congressional Black Caucus.
Bass added that the phrase "defund the police," which has been spotted countless times at protests following Floyd's death, "can be used as a distraction and that's my concern."
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said the idea is "stupid."
"You can't defund the police. That's stupid. It's crazy and anyone who talks about that is nuts," he said, reports The Hill. "We just have to make sure our police have the proper education and the proper screening."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was also asked about the issue but said it's something that local leaders have to grapple with, not lawmakers in Washington, D.C.
"The funding of police is a local matter, as you know. From the standpoint of our legislation, we're not going to that place," Pelosi told MSNBC. "What we're doing is talking about how we change policy to make our policing more just."
President Donald Trump and Republicans, meanwhile, are very much opposed to the idea of cutting funding to police departments.
"LAW & ORDER, NOT DEFUND AND ABOLISH THE POLICE," Trump tweeted Monday. "The Radical Left Democrats have gone Crazy!"
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