Progressive politicians and pundits have increasingly called for defunding police as a method of addressing perceived biases by law enforcement officers.
For his part, the director of Boston’s Seymour Institute for Black Church and Policy holds leftist lawmakers like U.S. Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) criminally responsible for the fallout from an “absurd and ridiculous” plan to defund police departments across the nation.
“It is absurd”
Furthermore, Rev. Eugene Rivers III accused Bush of hypocrisy for spending tens of thousands of dollars on private security while spreading her anti-police agenda.
Rivers, who previously worked on faith-based initiatives during the presidents in both parties, asserted that the lawmaker should face criminal charges for her stance. His remarks came on Friday during an appearance on Fox & Friends.
“Ms. Bush should be arrested for political and ideological malpractice,” he said. “It is absurd.”
He went on to specify that it “is absolutely an intellectual and ideological crime against Black people to talk about defunding the police.”
Recent reports cited campaign filings that included more than $70,000 in private security expenses over the past three months even as Bush promulgated the divisive position. For her part, she has denied that her ideas are “radical” and praised St. Louis leaders for voting in April to defund its police department.
“A new future for our city”
“Today’s decision to defund the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department is historic,” Bush said at the time. “It marks a new future for our city. For decades, our city funneled more and more money into our police department under the guise of public safety, while massively underinvesting in the resources that will truly keep our communities safe.”
Rivers, on the other hand, favors “faith-based partnerships” with law enforcement, crediting such efforts for reducing violence in Boston while many other major cities have seen a major crime wave over the same period.
Calling his work with local cops “the best model in the country,” he declared: “That is the answer to Black Lives Matter.”
He went on to assert that Boston police officers have been largely “supported by the Black community,” which has coincided with “a decline in violence” and could serve as a “prototype” for other cities.
The numbers seem to support his claims. The city’s police department reported that shootings within the city dropped from 160 as of Aug. 1, 2020, to 122 at the same point this year.