President Biden said Wednesday that Republicans are ‘lying’ when they say Democrats want to defund the police.
The president went on to explain the various ways that policing should be reformed and also denied ever calling for police to be defunded.
“I’ve never said defund the police,” Biden claimed.
“They’re lying,” Biden said during a CNN “town hall” when asked about Republican claims that the Democratic party supports defunding the police.
Biden also said it would be a good idea to bring social workers, including psychiatrists, to crime scenes.
Last summer, Biden expressed support for taking money from police departments and reallocating it to other places.
“Yes, absolutely,” Biden said on the campaign trail when asked if he agrees that “we can redirect some of the [police] funding.”
In the town hall, Biden also called for more police on the streets.
“We need more policemen, not fewer policemen but we need them involved in community policing,” Biden said.
Many prominent members of the Democratic Party have explicitly called for police departments across the country to be defunded, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who scoffed at a proposal to strip a billion dollars from the New York Police Department’s budget and suggested it wasn’t enough.
“Defunding police means defunding police,” the New York Democrat said in a statement. “It does not mean budget tricks or funny math. It does not mean moving school police officers from the NYPD budget to the Department of Education’s budget so the exact same police remain in schools.”
Several Democratic-run cities have also moved to defund police departments including in Minneapolis, where George Floyd’s death caused massive unrest last summer, where local officials attempted to disband the police before backtracking after stern pushback from the community.
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