Outspoken Republican and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell made his opinions on police reforms abundantly clear Tuesday, referring to the “defund the police movement” as “one of the dumbest ideas” ever to come to fruition in the United States. McConnell continued his statement, by shutting down the idea that changes to the qualified immunity for police officers may need altering.
McConnell spoke Tuesday at an anti-drug program hosted in Owensboro, Kentucky. He took the opportunity to graciously thank the law enforcement personnel in attendance and proceeded to use his time to go off on a pro-police tangent. McConnell was quoted saying that “it’s been a tough year for law enforcement…I am a strong supporter of law enforcement across America…[and] without qualified immunity, how do you get people to do law enforcement work? If every single one of those incidents becomes a potential personal lawsuit…I mean, how could you recruit?”
Recently, Democrats have been pressing to cut the budget for police and many departments across the nation have done just that and lowered funding significantly. These funds have primarily been reallocated to other public works areas, but the far left still wants more, with the most extremist of liberals calling to abolish police entirely. The concept of fully removing uniformed officers is an idea that even Joe Biden is interested in seeing come to fruition. When Biden was asked at a CNN Town Hall how he would like to avoid over-straining police, he said: “by number one, not defunding the police.”
It is not uncommon for McConnell to draw ire from the masses about his diverse array of opinions, but in this case, he is far from alone in his thinking. While fellow Republican Senator, Tim Scott of South Carolina, is leading police reform negotiations in Congress, McConnell has plenty of support on his side suggesting that qualified immunity is not something that should be taken away from police officers.
Since the beginning of the defunding of the police movement, the United States has seen several major cities assess their police presence and reallocate their funds. It has gone poorly every time.
Minneapolis, the epicenter of the defund movement, approved a $10 million police budget cut shortly after the death of George Floyd that resulted in a 60% increase in homicides year over year. Seattle became a “police-free zone” while cutting its budget by nearly 50% and saw a crime increase of over 500%. Unfortunately, this result has not changed their future objectives which include plans to cut their budget by an additional $76 million for the rest of 2021. Over 200 officers willingly left the Seattle force in 2021, whether to begin retirement early or to transfer to another department, in a city that will be more appreciative of their presence. New York City shifted a whopping $1 billion away from their police budgets and saw a response of a 130% increase in shootings, as well as a jump in the murder rate in every borough.
The aforementioned are only a few of the major cities across the nation that have tremendously cut their law enforcement budgets. The results thus far have been catastrophic. As divisive as McConnell can be, even among his party at times, in this instance, it appears his stance has proven correct. The police are a necessity, and taking away their funding is one of the dumbest ideas this country has thought of, and, unfortunately, now experienced.