“#Chuck Schumer blocks resolution opposing ‘defund the police’ movement”
June 11, 2020 | 2:51pm | Updated June 11, 2020 | 2:56pm
The resolution, introduced Tuesday by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), called for two simple things: “justice for George Floyd” and to oppose “efforts to defund the police.”
The Arkansas Republican wrote in the motion that the murder of George Floyd, “was a horrific act that violated the public trust and was inconsistent with the values and conduct expected of law enforcement officers.”
He went on to note that “good law enforcement cannot exist without accountability and justice,” a sign of openness to discussions about police reform and accountability without discussion of defunding.
Cotton asked the Senate on Wednesday to pass the motion by unanimous consent, a move which means a single senator could block it.
In this case, it was Schumer (D-NY) who opposed Cotton’s move, arguing that the motion was nothing more than rhetoric.
“The great worry so many Americans have is that so many on the other side will feel rhetoric and then try to let this go away. We demand action, and we demand it now. Real action, not rhetoric.”
“The resolution by my friend will do nothing. Nothing. It is rhetoric,” the New York Democrat said on the Senate floor.
Cotton went on to suggest that Schumer’s opposition to the motion showed Democratic support for defunding the police.
“We heard from the senator from New York and not a word of the resolution itself. What we’re seeing here is the Democratic leader apparently objecting on behalf of the Democratic party in defense of the radical idea that we should defund the police,” he said.
Protests and riots have erupted across the nation in a show of outrage against the murder of Floyd, an unarmed black man, by a white police officer in Minneapolis late last month.
Floyd could be heard in video of the killing pleading that he could not breathe while being pinned down by since-fired Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin for over eight minutes.
In the wake of Floyd’s murder, some Democrats have called for the defunding of police departments, instead allocating those funds to social programs and investing in minority communities.
Not all Democrats have gotten on board the “defund the police” movement. The two most prominent names from the 2020 Democratic primary — Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and former Vice President Joe Biden — both oppose defunding or abolishing police departments.
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