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Former New York City police commissioner Bernard Kerik slammed the sudden calls across U.S. cities to defund the police as Antifa “propaganda.”
Kerik, who served under former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, told Fox News host Martha MacCallum that the very idea is both “irresponsible” and “insane.”
(Source: Fox News)
“Here is the one thing people have to realize,” Kerik began on “The Story” Friday, reacting to calls such as those by Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender, who recently tweeted that she would seek to “dismantle” the Minneapolis Police Department.
“This is propaganda right out of the Antifa handbook. ‘Defund the police’,” Kerik said.
“Well, I challenge any Minneapolis resident to take a ride through Minneapolis — which now looks like Beirut in 1970 — look at it, and that is with your police there. What is going to happen when they are not?” he asked.
“Nobody wants to visit, live, go to school or work in a place where they are not safe. And most of these communities that have been shelled at this point, they can’t keep the community safe on a normal day,” Kerik added.
Bender tweeted her support of the plan to “dismantle” the city’s police department in the wake of violent unrest following the death of George Floyd. Her remarks came in response to a tweet from Minneapolis City Councilman Jeremiah Ellison, who just days ago publicly declared his support for Antifa.
Minneapolis City Councilman Jeremiah Ellison vows to ‘dismantle’ city’s entire police department https://t.co/q7oDXmnReK
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) June 5, 2020
Bender vowed to replace the current police department with “a transformative new model of public safety.”
Kerik scoffed at the trending idea being pushed in other cities as well, telling MacCallum that, even with police protection, the city of Chicago saw 82 shootings in a 48-hour period last week.
“What is going to happen when you defund the police? Who is going to protect the people of the city? Who is going to go out there and respond to the violence?” he wondered. “I don’t know what they are thinking. It is irresponsible, it is dangerous, and it is insane. That is what it is. It is insane.”
Kerik also blasts “cowardly” officials for just “reacting to community outrage” without getting all the facts, reacting to reports of six Atlanta, Ga., police officers who were suspended after two college students were yanked out of their car.
“First of all, I saw the chief within hours after this event and she was disturbed by the incident. They hadn’t even seen all of the video. They hadn’t conducted a full investigation. That goes on around the country constantly,” he said. “These chiefs are cowards. They respond to community outrage before they have any idea what really happened. It puts every cop’s life on the line when they do this.”
He criticized police officials for not conducting a “real investigation” before suspending officers in incidents such as this.
“If you think it is criminal, put it before a grand jury. See if you can get a grand jury indictment. Do it right, do it [via] due process — do it by the law,” Kerik said. “That is not what the chiefs are doing. They are scared to death to do their job.”
MacCallum noted that in many cases, those interacting with police believe that race is playing an issue in the confrontations.
“I think people forget what it’s like in many of these areas where these cops work,” Kerik countered.
“These cops don’t go out looking to target black men. They go out because there is a map and on that map in those communities, you’ve got the highest murder rate. You’ve got the highest violent crime rate, the highest burglary rate, the robbery rate, that is why the cops are out there,” he continued.
“Sometimes, the wrong people get stopped, but at the end of the day, they do a job that nobody else would have the courage to do, never in 100 years,” Kerik added. “And they are out there criticized constantly as racist. I can tell you, the stats don’t fit the argument.”
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