Former Maryland GOP congressional candidate Kim Klacik clapped back at supporters of the “defund police” movement during an interview Monday evening, noting that as crime has risen, Democratic mayors and city councils are rethinking that policy.
In an interview with Newsmax TV’s “Cortez and Pellegrino,” Klacik, president of the Red Rennaissance PAC, also said it doesn’t help the situation when local left-wing prosecutors refuse to pursue certain crimes as vigorously as they should, which further puts the general public at risk.
Klacik was responding to co-host Steve Cortez’s mention of an Axios story published Sunday noting that at least 20 large American cities have reduced their police budgets a total of $840 million over the past year, as violence and crime have continued to spike — often setting new records for shootings and murders.
Not only have those cities cut funds for their police departments, but Cortez noted 25 of them have also removed officers from often violent high schools.
“It’s a horrible idea,” Klacik said, noting that in her home city of Baltimore, especially, crime has skyrocketed. “Why on earth would we take police out of the situation when we need them to protect us? It makes absolutely no sense to me.”
Klacik noted that in June 2020 the Baltimore city council, swept up in the ‘defund’ movement following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, moved to cut some $22 million from the police budget. However, she continued, the council is poised to add $28 million to the Baltimore Police Department’s budget next month because the previous cuts “did exactly the opposite of what they intended.”
“We have more murders, we have more shootings and more armed carjackings. We’ve had a murder every day in May so far,” she said, adding that the city is on pace to experience its deadliest year ever.
The former congressional candidate went on to point out that the problem of increased crime does not lie with police, but more with “progressive” prosecutors who “don’t actually prosecute the violent criminals,” as well as “repeat violent offenders on the street” who are adding to the mayhem.
“And of course, we have a terrible education system and a lot of people don’t have job opportunities,” she said, going on to point out that Baltimore was once a manufacturing powerhouse but that is no longer the case.
Later, co-host Jenn Pellegrino pointed out that other cities including Minneapolis are increasing police funding after initially cutting it, while asking Klacik to comment on the Biden administration’s apparent lack of interest in calling on cities to re-embrace law enforcement.
“It seems like they’re being more divisive with this administration,” Klacik responded, noting that the White House is focusing more on “reparations and equity” and other initiatives “that are impossible to achieve.”
“People need to understand, a lot of this unity is going to come from people within the community,” she continued. “You’re gonna have to reach out to your local police department and talk about ways that you can get them more involved” so that witnesses to crimes feel protected and others will want to buy into law enforcement in general.
She also said local prosecutors have to commit to locking up criminals who need to be off the streets.
Cortez responded by pointing to Gallup polling data showing that minority communities are not supportive of defunding police, to which Klacik agreed.
Pointing to a viral campaign ad that utilized the Gallup poll data, Klacik said minorities who live in high-crime areas want more police, not fewer officers.
“I don’t know where they’re getting this narrative that black people do not want police in their neighborhoods,” she said. “It’s just not true.”
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