Appearing on ABC News’ This Week on Sunday morning, former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams weighed in on a debate that’s created waves among Democrats and the progressive left as protests for justice for George Floyd and Breonna Taylor continue across the nation. Should police departments be defunded? If so, what does that look like? Where would the money go? Host George Stephanopoulos asked Abrams: “What does defunding the police mean to you, and is it necessary?” As Abrams argued, we are being “drawn into a false choice idea,” and that, ultimately, “fundamentally we must have reformation and transformation.”
First, Abrams argues, “we need reformation of how police officers do their job, how law enforcement does its job.” In addition to that, Abrams calls for “a transformation of how we view the role of law enforcement, how we view the construct of public safety, and how we invest not only in the work that we need them to do to protect us but the work that we need to do to protect and build our communities.”
To begin, Abrams referenced Rayshard Brooks, a Black man who was shot and killed by a white police officer at a Wendy’s drive-thru in Atlanta, Georgia on Friday night, resulting in the officer being fired and the police chief resigning. "What happened yesterday to Rayshard Brooks was a function of excessive force,” Abrams stated. “A decision that they were either embarrassed or panicked led them to murder a man they knew only had a taser in his hand."
"We know that the murder of Breonna Taylor means we have to reform no-knock warrants,” Abrams continued. She added that in Georgia, for example, “we have to look at the larger judicial issues,” and that “reformation is absolutely important," using the fatal shooting of Ahmad Arbery as an example. Though Breonna Taylor, who was shot and killed by police in March, received little mainstream media attention at the time, her name is finally being highlighted and centered in recent days, especially in terms of no-knock warrant bans.
Posted with permission from Daily Kos.