Advocates call for defunding police; Mississippi leaders respond

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Nationwide protests have been aimed at calling attention to the death of George Floyd and issues important to people in the black community. One of the ideas that’s being pushed is defunding the police.

Many want to change how money is distributed in communities with some of the money allocated to police going elsewhere.

“Abolition isn’t saying we want to get rid of all prisons right now, but we want to work toward that. And one of the ways we can do that is by defunding the police. Basically taking money from our police department and putting it into our communities. The safest communities have more resources not police presence,” said one advocate.

“The notion of defunding the police makes no sense. In fact, we need to give more money to police, more money for training, more money to ensure that an individual policeman has backup,” said Governor Tate Reeves.

Rep. Michael Guest (R-Miss.) also released a statement about defunding police:

Americans want the best law enforcement agencies possible. Improving our police force starts with building on the proven methods that have worked for years and changing the methods that don’t work. Our nation has worked continuously to advance our institutions, and we have done it successfully without tearing up the foundation to start from scratch. Completely dismantling the police force is a disastrous idea. How many innocent lives would be damaged if nobody was there to respond to a 9-1-1 call? Who would respond to violence in our communities if we abolish the police? “Nobody” is not an acceptable answer. We need a well-trained police force to uphold the law and save lives. Period.

I am in favor of legislation that increases the safety of our citizens while also protecting the lives of our law enforcement officers. I’ve been an outspoken proponent of equipping our law enforcement officers with body cameras to provide additional evidence in trial cases and improving the training our law enforcement agents receive, which would give them the skills to respond more effectively and appropriately in their dangerous line of work.

Rep. Michael Guest, R-Miss.

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