Attorney General William Barr said that the “defund the police” movement that was sparked in the midst of Black Lives Matter protests will devastate inner-city communities.
“These communities are not going to have the safety,” Barr told Fox News on Thursday evening. “Now, a lot of the liberals will buy themselves out of that. They’ll go to resort towns and so forth, and they’ll escape the consequences of it. But the people in the inner cities won’t. Their lives will be destroyed.”
Barr said that those communities “won’t have the opportunity they otherwise would have.” “Their schools will be overrun by gangs. That’s not caring about black lives,” he added.
The attorney general has been a critic of cities across the United States, such as Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Seattle, and New York City, that have advocated for cutting funding for or even disbanding their police departments. The movement was part of the protests, civil unrest, and riots triggered by the death of George Floyd death in Minneapolis Police custody.
“I’ve said repeatedly that, to my mind, there is no more noble profession in our country than serving as a law enforcement officer,” Barr said last month at a public event. “The police put their lives and well-being on the line every day for us, and their jobs have never been more difficult than it is today.”
Meanwhile, Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best recently resigned after the city moved to slash funding to the police department.
Barr said Best “is an example of the highly competent and professional and dedicated police professionals we have in this country,” adding that the United States is “blessed with that throughout the country.”
In a press conference this week, Best said that she resigned after $4 million was cut from the department’s budget after a City Council vote.
“I really think that we needed to have a plan moving forward. It was highly disappointing not to see that,” Best said. “It really is about the overarching lack of respect for the officers,” she added later.
Seattle was the site of the so-called Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ), also known as the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest (CHOP), which was started in early June before it was disbanded at the end of the month. It came after the police department’s nearby precinct building was abandoned before it was reclaimed when the autonomous zone was dismantled. The occupation was tolerated by city officials until two people were shot and killed in the area.