Multiple progressive members of Congress – in particular, those affiliated with the so-called “Squad” – as well as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have called for a decrease in or cessation of law enforcement funding after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last summer.
Fox News asked the ACLU as well as “Squad” members, Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., and Mondaire Jones, D-N.Y., how Americans’ public safety would be preserved if the police were defunded.
The lawmakers and the ACLU were also asked if they believe Americans should have greater access to firearms and other forms of self-defense, and, if not, should the U.S. implement the military as a police force if traditional law enforcement is defunded.
None of the lawmakers nor the ACLU immediately responded to Fox News’ requests for comment.
Ocasio-Cortez has been a vocal proponent of defunding the police since Floyd’s death last summer, defending her position on the issue last November. Jones has also called for a partial defunding of police forces.
Omar called the Minneapolis police “rotten to the root” and demanded their dismantling last June. Tlaib was recently lambasted by the Detroit chief of police after she called American policing “inherently [and] intentionally racist.”
Additionally, the ACLU released an opinion piece last summer claiming that defunding the police across the country would make America “safer.”
“The first U.S. city police department was a slave patrol, and modern police forces have directed oppression and violence at Black people to enforce Jim Crow, wage the War on Drugs, and crack down on protests,” the ACLU wrote. “When people ask for police reform, many are actually asking for this oppressive system to be dismantled and to invest in institutions, resources, and services that help communities grow and thrive.”
“That’s why many protestors and activists, following in the footsteps of Black-led grassroots groups, are demanding immediate defunding of police departments,” the opinion piece continued.
The advocacy group said that the “basic premise” of defunding the police is to “cut the astronomical amount of money” that governments spend on law enforcement and give that money to “more helpful services like job training, counseling, and violence-prevention programs.”
The ACLU also demanded that the Department of Homeland Security be disbanded after “years of chaos and impunity” in August of last year.
Despite the organization’s push to “reimagine” the role of law enforcement and shrink budgets for police departments, the ACLU has not offered any concrete solutions that would take over the role of law enforcement to remove violent criminals off the streets.
A lack of policing leaves few options for communities to fall back on for public safety, one of which being civilian forces made up of non-law enforcement professionals dealing with mental health.
The ACLU brought this idea up in a separate op-ed from June 2020, calling for the nation to “embrace alternatives” to traditional law enforcement “like civilian-led crisis intervention teams composed of highly trained professionals, including nurses, doctors, psychiatrists, and social workers, to respond to incidents with people who are in mental health crises.”
With no viable alternatives to replace the police force, some states are introducing new laws that would put individual safety in the hands of citizens.
In Texas, a new concealed carry bill that would allow anyone over the age of 21 to carry a gun without a permit is heading to the state Senate.
The bill was passed out of the state House of Representatives as Democrat-run cities in Texas, such as Austin, recently stripped law enforcement of resources and slashed funding budgets.
It remains to be seen if other states across the U.S. will now introduce more lenient concealed carry bills amid the renewed left-wing push to defund the police.
The expansion of gun rights for self-defense faces harsh opposition from the same proponents who support defunding the police.
The Squad and other progressives, as well as the ACLU, have stated their support for banning assault weapons and curtailing gun rights alongside defunding law enforcement.
In 2019, Ocasio-Cortez joined Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., in calling for the U.S. to follow New Zealand’s semi-automatic weapons ban.
“Christchurch happened, and within days New Zealand acted to get weapons of war out of the consumer market,” wrote Ocasio-Cortez on Twitter. “This is what leadership looks like.”