Khanna, who does not support defunding the police but wants “common sense” reform, was challenged on “The Faulkner Focus” about a perceived disconnect in the Democrat Party, as liberal New York City mayoral candidate Maya Wiley pushes to cut $ 1 billion from the NYPD budget.
“Violent crime is on fire right now,” Faulkner host began. “I mean, it’s heartbreaking. It really is. And to think about defunding like that, you ask a great question. Why can’t you come up with things that are common sense? Why is this catching fire, particularly among Democrat-led cities? What’s going on in your party? And is it a divide that maybe the nation needs to know about? Maybe they move away from those cities, I don’t know.”
“I don’t think that’s fair,” Khanna replied. “All Democrats that I know love this country… I believe this country has been a force for good in the world… I think that there is so much more we have in common as Americans.”
“And I know it’s easy to take some statement, blow it up,” Khanna continued. “But I think what people want is for us to come together to make sure that we compete against China, that we win the 21st Century, that we try to bring this nation together.”
Khanna pointed to the House-passed George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which seeks a federal ban on chokeholds and racial profiling – a tool to “deescalate” law enforcement encounters between civilians and police.
“I think that there are a lot of common sense things in our bill,” he said. “I mean, what we’re saying is that you shouldn’t be allowed to have chokeholds. What we’re saying is you should use force as a last resort, which is the standard in every other democracy.”
Faulkner continued to dig in: “I hear the platitudes of wishful thinking about success, but people want to be freed from the violence in their cities,” she said. “Seattle, 270 police officers leaving the force. So, I mean, it is something that is a crisis within our borders. And I’m just wondering where the outrage is…. With all due respect to chokeholds and all that. I mean, yes, talk about all of it. But those children who are slaughtered on the streets of Chicago weekend after weekend after weekend who look like me, aren’t dying from chokeholds.”
More than one year since the death of George Floyd sent shockwaves through the nation, experts say the movement to slash police budgets amid calls for law enforcement reform has struggled to maintain momentum among concerns about public safety and costs to local governments.
The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which was introduced in 2020, was approved by the Democrat-controlled House in March, but has stalled in the Senate.
Fox News’ Stephanie Pagones contributed to this report.