Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) said that the Nashville Police officers who helped evacuate downtown Nashville before the bomb exploded on Christmas Day should be honored for their work instead of being under the threat of being defunded.
The Tennessee senator encouraged people to watch the press conference the six Nashville officers took part in on Sunday because she said it illustrates their humanity and the choices they’re faced with.
“These six officers … did a phenomenal job. They saved lives. And they really humanized the police force. So, I encourage everyone to watch it. I don’t see how anyone could say ‘defund the police’ after listening to this press conference,” said Blackburn.
Her remarks came in the wake of the Nashville explosion that shook the streets of downtown Nashville early Christmas morning, shattering windows, damaging dozens of businesses, and injuring three people.
Officers Richard Tylor Luellen, Brenna Hosey, Amanda Topping, James Wells, Michael Sipos, and Sgt. Timothy Miller, with the Metro Nashville Police Department carried out door-to-door and apartment-to-apartment checks and managed to get people to safety shortly before the blast, according to statements made at the press conference.
The officers “rushed to danger” and “saved a lot of lives and injuries in a highly fluid situation,” Mayor John Cooper said of the 6 Nashville said during a virtual appearance on CNN’s “New Day.”
There have been frequent calls this year from progressives in the Democrat Party, including vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris, to pull resources from police departments and to “defund police” in response to what they say is widespread corruption and brutality toward minorities.
Republicans have opposed cutting funds from police departments and the escalating violence against police officers and praised officers for their work to maintain public safety.
“We are grateful for the 6 Nashville police officers and thousands of others like them across the country who put their own lives in harm’s way to protect strangers and keep our communities safe,” The GOP wrote in a Twitter post on Monday.
Blackburn said that nobody would want to vote for someone who calls to defund the police “if they watched that press conference yesterday, and see what good police work is, and why we need to honor these men and women who were that thin blue line who are our first responders.” She added that she was impressed by “the caring, the compassion, the way they worked together as a team to save people.”