Democrat Rep. Ayanna Pressley (MA) told CNN’s Don Lemon on Wednesday that she supports defunding the police as the country’s violent crime rates soar, a stance opposed by 81% of black Americans.
“Is defunding the police not part of something that you support?” Lemon asked.
“Don, what I support and why I put forward bills like my Counseling Not Criminalization Act is that instead of our spending $1 billion over the last two decades to have 46,000 school police officers when every child does not have equitable access to a school nurse, a social worker or a guidance counselor, some of those ratios are one counselor for every 2,000 students,” Pressley responded. “So, yes, I support a radical reimagining of community safety and public safety, which means reallocating and not further investing in a carceral state especially when we have not yet ended qualified immunity. So, you know, that needs to be the priority is, police accountability.”
WATCH: Democrat Ayanna Pressley says she still supports defunding the police.
“I support a radical reimagining of community safety and public safety…which means reallocating and not further investing” in police. pic.twitter.com/ODEsVjK7dX
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) June 24, 2021
In summary, Pressley supports defunding the police, terming her stance “a radical reimagining of community safety and public safety,” which she defines as not “further investing in” and “reallocating” funds from police.
The congresswoman’s circumlocutory way of answering the question was likely due to the unpopularity of the defund the police movement. According to a Gallup poll from the Summer of 2020, when protestors were rioting across the country after the killing of George Floyd, 61% of black Americans said they wanted police presence to remain the same in their area, and an additional 20% of black Americans said they wanted more police presence in their area, making a total of 81% of black Americans saying they want the same or more police presence in their area.