MSNBC contributor Brittany Packnett Cunningham, who was appointed in 2015 to serve on President Barack Obama’s “Task Force on 21st Century Policing” and is a major defund-the-police activist, claimed on-air that the crime surge is “the fault of the police.”
“Defunding the police is not just about taking money out of an institution that continues to prove ineffective,” Cunningham said. “It’s also about refunding the people.”
“The police haven’t been defunded,” Cunningham continued. “You actually look at the 50 largest cities, law enforcement spending as a share of the general expenditure in each of those cities actually rose slightly from 13.6 percent to 13.7 percent, and many of the cities that have talked about removing that money, like Minneapolis and Seattle, they’ve actually paused or slowed how they were thinking about moving that money. … So this rising crime is not the fault of the movement, it’s actually the fault of the police.”
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) June 21, 2021
Cunningham’s claim that law enforcement has not been defunded is false. Dozens of cities moved to slash budgets after the death of George Floyd last year, leading to lawlessness and disorder. Minneapolis, for instance, cut $8 million from its budget in December, and New York voted in August to pull $1 billion from its budget.
In fact, the 50 largest cities in America slashed budgets by more than 5 percent this year. While it is true that many cities have reversed course, such as Seattle and New York, damage had already been done as anti-police rhetoric dominated Democrat talking points, with left-wing leaders, including now-Vice President Kamala Harris, even condoning lawlessness. Preliminary 2020 FBI data indicates homicides increased by 25 percent. In Chicago, homicides increased by 56 percent and in Atlanta by 58 percent.
As the Wall Street Journal noted in a May report, after the rise in crime, “In the nation’s 20 largest local law-enforcement agencies, city and county leaders want funding increases for nine of the 12 departments where next year’s budgets already have been proposed. The increases range from 1% to nearly 6%.”
“In Minneapolis, where Mr. Floyd was killed, the city cut $8 million from the department last year, only to restore $6.4 million to hire new officers amid mass retirements and rising crime,” the report also stated.
Cunningham has been a major advocate for defunding police. She claimed on MSNBC a few weeks ago that cutting budgets is “giving us the opportunity to reenvision and reimagine what public safety looks like in our communities.”