ICYMI: Senator Scott Lambasts Defund the Police Movement at Banking Hearing
WASHINGTON – At today’s U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs hearing, Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.) questioned the nominee for assistant secretary of Housing and Urban Development and spoke against the “defund the police” movement.
Read excerpts of Senator Scott’s questions below:
“The fact of the matter is housing is incredibly important, but safety in the place where you live is number one. So, when you have folks talking about defunding the police, you are actually making the housing issue and the desire for home ownership and for a good, safe place to live issue number one. I can’t imagine something more important than safety in the place where you live. Having lived in some of the poorest parts of South Carolina, I can tell you firsthand that the one thing no one living in the communities where I grew up is asking for is defunding the police. Not a single person, not one. You look at the most recent polls and surveys done: more than 81% of African Americans have said very clearly that they want the same level of policing or more policing. And that is consistent throughout every demographic in this country. While we can make this into a political issue, this is an issue that impacts real people in real places that feel insecure and unsure about where they live. They want the same dignity and respect where they live.
“Those folks who wanted to defund the police are now trying to find a way to refund the police. You think about Minneapolis with a 90% increase in violent crime and homicides. You think about the fact that they are now saying, ‘Wait a second, cutting the police may have been a really bad idea.’ In Baltimore … they have 392 positions to be filled. More than a dozen detective positions are vacant. What’s happening in Baltimore? The crime is up. And what is the city council saying? They are saying, ‘Well last year we cut it by $22 million, this year let’s increase it by $28 million.’ Why? Because they understand that putting poor people in a place without security is immoral. It is wrong.
“I think about the kid I was, living in the neighborhoods I lived in, where police presence was necessary, it was essential. I don’t think about this from the politics of left or right. I think about this as average American people who are vulnerable, who need help, who work hard, living paycheck to paycheck. And they want more policing.
“I will debate anybody on funding the police at a proper level any day anywhere at any time. Period. I will say this as well, the reality of this is simple: As I work through police reform and I think about the issues and the comments made by so many people who have the advantage of sitting comfortably in a place talking to others through their accounts, I think about those people who are desperately looking for leadership because for them it is about life and death. It’s not about politics. It is about life and death. I take that seriously because I have been in those positions.”