Speed Reads

'community safety is our responsibility'

Pelosi says 'defund the police' is not the Democratic Party's policy

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Sunday pushed back against the notion that the Democratic Party fully embraces the idea of defunding the police.

"Make no mistake, community safety is our responsibility," Pelosi said on ABC's This Week. "I quote one of my colleagues from New York, [Rep.] Ritchie Torres, a brand new member of Congress way on the left, saying that 'defund the police' is dead. That causes a concern with a few in our caucus. But public safety is our responsibility."

Some Democrats believe that the "defund the police" slogan caused party losses in 2020, and ahead of the 2022 midterms, want lawmakers to stop saying it. Last week, Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) told Axios that she won't drop the motto, and thinks Democrats need to clearly explain that it means funding will be shifted to other social services.

"'Defund the police' is not the problem," Bush said. "We dangled the carrot in front of people's faces and said we can get it done and that Democrats deliver, when we haven't totally delivered. If [Republicans] take the majority, it's just done as far as trying to get the legislation across."

Pelosi told This Week host George Stephanopoulos that this is "not the position of the Democratic Party, with all due respect to Cori Bush. Community safety to protect and defend in every way is our oath of office." Democrats, she added, want to make policing better by reducing "mistreatment" of civilians, and one example is ending no-knock warrants.