|MIAMI, FLA. — New reporting by the Washington Free Beacon erases any illusions of where Val Demings stood on Defunding the Police in the summer of 2020, when violent riots plagued cities across America and our men and women in law enforcement were vilified.
Val Demings called plans to defund the police “very thoughtful” one day after members of the Minneapolis City Council held a rally on a stage laden with massive “defund police” signs and announced radical plans to “end policing as we know it”.
“Val Demings had the opportunity to disavow the Minneapolis City Council’s extreme plans to Defund the Police; instead, she encouraged it. Since going to Washington, Demings has chosen far-left Democrats over Floridians every single time,” said Elizabeth Gregory, communications director for Marco Rubio for Senate.
Washington Free Beacon reports:
|On June 7, 2020, days after violent riots subsided in Minneapolis, the anti-police groups Reclaim the Block and the Black Visions Collective hosted a rally in Minneapolis’s Powderhorn Park. During the event, nine Minneapolis City Council members, including then-president Lisa Bender, stood behind a giant “DEFUND POLICE” sign on stage, and announced their “commitment” to “end policing as we know it.”
The next day, Demings defended the council to CBS…
|Demings was asked: “The City Council voting to dismantle, not just defund but dismantle and rebuild the police department there, is that a strategy you could agree with?”
She responded that it was “very thoughtful.”
Free Beacon continues:
|During a CNN appearance that [same] morning, Bender shared her hope for a “future without police.”…
Bender’s rhetoric closely resembles language in the Black Visions Collective’s “Minneapolis Without Policing” resource guide, which instructs crime victims to resist “the urge to dial 911,” as the police’s presence “will put people at risk of being jailed, abused, or killed.” The similarity is likely no coincidence—in August 2020, two months after the interview, Bender acknowledged her “long relationship” with the anti-cop group, which began its work to defund and disband police in 2017.
“As [prison industrial complex] abolitionists, we organize to dismantle and defund these systems,” the guide reads. “This looks like organizing to abolish police and all law enforcement, including ICE and the military; to stop jail/prison construction and close existing facilities”…
Bender and the rest of the City Council advanced many of these policies after the June rally.
|On June 26, 2022, the council voted unanimously to eliminate the Minneapolis Police Department, despite having determined no plans for a replacement.
The Free Beacon explains how Demings’ support of the movement has panned out for her:
|For Demings, distancing herself from the summer of 2020 has proven more difficult. Rubio’s campaign has flooded airwaves with ads saying the Democrat “refused to condemn radicals.” In response, Demings released her own ad, which called the idea of defunding police “just crazy.”
That rhetoric is a far cry from Demings’s earlier comments…. For former Minneapolis-area police captain David Zimmer, that defense is not a convincing one, as the council in 2020 was well known as “an activist council that had it out for its own police department and was looking for ways to take more control.”