#NAACP president Derrick Johnson not endorsing ‘defund the police’ movement

#NAACP president Derrick Johnson not endorsing ‘defund the police’ movement

June 9, 2020 | 4:52pm

The president of the NAACP declined to endorse the “defund the police” movement that has become the rallying cry of protesters and Black Lives Matter in the wake of George Floyd’s death while in Minneapolis police custody.

“I support the energy behind it. I don’t know what that substantively means. As I’m talking to people about the concept, I’ve gotten three different explanations,” Derrick Johnson told the Associated Press this week.

“We know there has to be a change in the culture of policing in this country,” he said.

Calls for defunding the police have become commonplace at the nationwide protests over Floyd’s death on May 25 and among some progressive Democrats.

In Minneapolis, the city council has gone a step farther and proposed dismantling the police department.

Other cities have called for using funds designated for the police to fund more social and youth programs.

Top House Democrats during a conference called warned their caucus members about getting caught up in a ploy to make defunding a political presidential campaign issue, Fox News reported.

“This movement today, some people tried to hijack it,” House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn of South Carolina told fellow Democrats on the call, according to Politico. “Don’t let yourselves be drawn into the debate about defunding police forces.”

Congressional Democrats on Monday took a knee in honor of Floyd and unveiled their “Justice in Policing Act of 2020” that calls for sweeping law enforcement reforms, including a ban on chokeholds.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she doesn’t back abolishing the police, instead saying she would like to see “rebalancing some of our funding” to focus on mental health and policing in schools.

She said defunding was a “local decision.”

President Trump has repeatedly called for a “law and order” response to the protests.

“The president is appalled by the defund the police movement,” White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters at Monday’s press briefing.

Joe Biden, Trump’s 2020 political rival, after days of silence on the issue said he opposed defunding the police and said federal aid should be proportionate to departments’ ability to “meet certain basic standards of decency and honorableness.”

“I support conditioning federal aid to police, based on whether or not they meet certain basic standards of decency and honorableness. And, in fact, are able to demonstrate they can protect the community and everybody in the community,” the former vice president said Monday on “CBS Evening News.”


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