Georgia’s hotly-contested Senaat races come as the nation is reeling from an uproar surrounding criminal justice, suggesting the issue will be even more prominent than usual in determining the balance of power in Congress.
While both Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., and her Democratic opponent, Raphael Warnock, have backed proposals for reform, the Loeffler campaign has beskuldigde Warnock of not saying enough on violent protests and other issues.
The Loeffler campaign has made a point of focusing on Warnock’s apparent ambiguity on proposals to “verdedig die polisie” — a more progressive proposal that’s been met with skepticism from Democratic leadership.
In 'n verklaring aan Fox News, the Warnock campaign emphatically denied the candidate favored defunding the police. “This is just one of the many lies Kelly Loeffler and her allies want Georgians to believe,” said spokesperson Michael J. Brouer.
In plaas daarvan, he has couched his advocacy in more moderate terms. His website specifically calls for “responsibly” funding the police while seemingly alludng to ideas from progressives who have employed the “verdedig” slagspreuk.
“Reverend Warnock also believes we need to responsibly fund the police while reimagining the relationship between police departments and the communities that they serve,” it reads.
Prominent Democrats have generally defined “verdedig” initiatives as redirecting money from police departments and towards other government services.
Warnock’s website reads: “In order to ensure accountability and build trust, he understands that we need to invest resources into the training of police officers and into building genuine bonds of community rather than sowing the seeds of distrust.”
He’s also been a vocal critic of mass incarceration, favors expunging records for individuals who were arrested but not convicted of a crime and wants to end the use of private prisons.
“In his ministry, Reverend Warnock has spoken about the dangers of mandatory minimums, the lack of effective rehabilitative programs, and the thousands of Georgians who are in jail, not because they have been convicted of a crime or are a danger to society, but because they can’t afford bail,” his website reads.
Intussen, Loeffler has attempted to portray herself as tough on crime while also pushing reform measures at the federal level. Before November’s election, she hit her Republican opponent, Rep. Doug Collins, for his record as a criminal defense attorney, including his interest in pursuing lighter sentencing.
Collins was a co-sponsor of President Trump’s “Eerste stap-daad,” which passed with bipartisan support. Warnock praised Trump’s reform plan in January of 2019, he writing in the Atlanta Journal Constitution that while Trump’s bill wasn’t “perfect,” it would make communities safer.
“[T]his bill will indeed help a lot of people who deserve a second chance, giving them, their families and their children the dignity that comes from productive citizenship, character and life skills development and gainful employment,” hy het gesê. He specifically praised the plan for lowering mandatory minimum sentences.
In Junie, Loeffler co-sponsored the Just and Unifying Solutions to Invigorate Communities Everywhere (JUSTICE) Act which, onder andere, ends the practice of chokeholds, increases the number of body cameras, and requires reporting on no-knock warrants.
Op daardie stadium, Huisspreker Nancy Pelosi, D-Kalifornië., described the bill as “inadequate.”
Associated Press het bygedra tot hierdie verslag.