“Defunding the police means to stop paying police to harass, exploit, and control poor communities of color over non-criminal behavior and low-level offenses like homelessness, drug possession, and mental health crises. It means investing the savings in real solutions."
Source: Howie Hawkins, Twitter.com, June 12, 2020
"As your President, I will defund federal involvement in policing, and the DEA. The federal government has created a police state, which instead of protecting and serving, imports nameless, faceless SWAT teams to our streets.
I will end the supplying of military equipment like tanks and tear gas to law enforcement (1033 program). Americans should not feel like enemy combatants in their own neighborhoods.
I will also end civil asset forfeiture, which is state-sanctioned highway robbery. Police are now able to steal assets from Americans (billions of dollars every year) and transfer the spoils to their own police budgets. This is wrong, and a massive conflict of interest.
I will end no-knock raids, which too often end up killing innocent bystanders like Breonna Taylor.
I will end the failed, destructive drug war used to justify such abuses.
And I will end qualified immunity so that citizens can take legal action against police brutality.
It will be up to each locality to decide what level of policing helps them balance public safety with sacred liberties. But getting federal money out, repealing draconian laws, and holding officers accountable, will make those choices far easier and our communities both safer and freer."
Source: Communication from the Jorgensen campaign to ProCon.org on Sep. 8, 2020.
"I don't want to defund police. I want to get police more money in order to deal with the things they badly need, from making sure they have access to community policing, that they have also in the departments social workers, psychologists, people who in fact can handle those god-awful problems that a cop has to have four degrees to handle."
[Editor's Note: While Biden has stated he supports the urgent need for reform and has talked about redirecting police funds to other programs including those for mental health, a campaign spokesperson clarified that Biden is against defunding.
Source: Jonathan Easley, "Biden Says He Supports Additional Funding for the Police," thehill.com, Aug. 5, 2020
Jonathan Martin, Alexander Burns, and Thomas Kaplan, “Biden Walks a Cautious Line as He Opposes Defunding the Police,” nytimes.com, June 8, 2020
Rafael Cabrera and Ali Swenson, "Joe Biden Did Not Call for Defunding the Police," apnews.com, July 10, 2020]
"There won’t be defunding. There won’t be dismantling of our police, and there’s not going to be any disbanding of our police. Our police have been letting us live in peace, and we want to make sure we don’t have any bad actors in there.”
Source: Brett Samuels, “Trump: There Won’t Be Any Defunding of Police,” thehill.com, June 8, 2020