Prominent Democrats appeared to part ways with far-left Rep. Rashida Tlaib over her call for “no more policing” following the shooting Sunday night of 20-year old Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota.
Tlaib, who represents the Detroit area, claimed that the police shooting “wasn’t an accident” and that “policing in our country is inherently & intentionally racist.”
Former Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter, who shot Wright and resigned after the incident, was charged with second degree manslaughter in the death of Wright.
Former Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon, who also has resigned, claimed that the shooting was an accident and that Potter meant to fire her taser instead of her handgun.
Some of Rashida Tlaib’s colleagues opposed her calls to abolish policing.
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), during an appearance on CNN, said to host Erin Burnett that, “Congress is a big tent,” and that Tlaib was entitled to her opinion, but that black Americans want good police.
Jackson Lee said, “I think it’s important to realize that, as African Americans, we are filled with officers in our community, in our families. And we are supportive of the idea of good policing. And I think that’s the same place that Vice President Harris is and President Biden is. They are for good policing.”
In another CNN appearance, House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC), said that while he can understand Tlaib’s frustrations, he disagrees on abolishing police, and echoed Jackson Lee’s sentiments.
Clyburn told anchor Don Lemon, “We’ve got to have police officers,” and “I come out of a culture where people honor the police, but they want good policing. We do not honor bad police officers.”
CNN commentator Van Jones was more supportive of Tlaib’s claims, but he did not express a desire to abolish all policing.
Jones called the “methodology” used by police in the U.S. “dumb, dangerous, and discriminatory.”
Jones addressed those who would ask why didn’t Wright comply. Jones’ answer was that there are two Americas:
“If when you see a police officer, you see all those weapons and don’t see the badge, it’s because your experience has been they don’t come at you with respect. They don’t come at you with trust. They come at you with force. When people see somebody coming at them armed who has never treated you with respect, you can panic.”
Jones added that it is “dumb to have all of these cops out here with all of these weapons, tasers and pepper spray and batons and guns and dogs and drones, pulling people over for like little, what do you call it, your taillight’s out?”
Detroit Police Chief James Craig was not pleased with Tlaib’s comments on law enforcement.
In a statement to the Associated Press, he called Tlaib’s comments a “disgusting knee-jerk response.”
He also stated, “This was a tragic incident, and it should’ve never happened. But when these tragedies happen, you shouldn’t just broad-brush the entire profession.”
Craig also said to The Detroit News,
“To say policing should be abolished gives no consideration to the people who live in our neighborhoods who rely on police to provide service. What happens to those folks? What about the victims? The people who live in our city don’t want to abolish the police, so the million-dollar question is: Who does (Tlaib) represent?”
A Gallup poll taken last August shows that 81% of African Americans want the same or more increased presence of police in their neighborhoods.
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