ATLANTA, GA – A group of county sheriffs from Georgia openly condemned Democrats aiming to accomplish various iterations of defunding police on December 15th.
— txdixiegal57 (@dixiegal57) December 16, 2020
Some of the phrases used to describe defunding stylized as police reform were “crazy talk,” and “just insanity,” during the event that was in response to the leaked audio of Joe Biden speaking to civil rights leaders about holding off on police-defunding talks until after the Senate runoffs in Georgia.
Gwinnett County Sheriff Butch Conway was among the sheriffs that spoke out front of the Liberty Plaza, saying:
“All we’ve heard for months from the Democrat Party is ‘defund the police.”
“Now I understand Joe Biden’s talking the other way now, not wanting to talk about defunding the police until after this election, but that doesn’t change anything. The program by the Democrat Party has been to defund the police, to change the basic concept of police work.”
The election that Sheriff Conway was referring to is that of the two Senate runoffs taking place in Georgia in January, which incumbent Republican Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler are facing off against Democrats Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock.
— Doc John (@Dondocjohn) December 16, 2020
Sheriff Conway explained that if there’s a desire to see policing improve, then defunding the police in any manner is the exact opposite of what people should be championing for:
“I’ve led a couple of agencies for a long time, and I’ve never had the money that I felt like I needed for training, hiring, and retention of police officers. So talking about defunding police is just insanity.”
“It’s only common sense that you can’t make a better product … by cutting down on labor cost, training, and material. We have to have more money for police if we want better police. It’s crazy talk to say you want to defund police. The country will be less safe.”
Walton County Sheriff Joe Chapman and Cherokee County Sheriff Frank Reynolds also mirrored those sentiments conveyed by Sheriff Conway during the event.
And the future of policing across the country could very well hang in the upcoming Senate elections in Georgia.
If Republicans wind up losing both the Senate runoffs in January, Democrats would have a de facto majority control of the Senate by way of Kamala Harris serving as a tie-breaking vote for measures resulting in a 50/50 party line split.
National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesman Jesse Hunt spoke about Biden’s urged efforts to get Democrats to quiet down about defunding the police until the Senate races wrap up:
“They’re desperate to hide their ‘defund the police’ agenda, but Georgians know the truth that Warnock, Ossoff, and their backers in DC are too radical.”
GA Law Enforcement Officials Say Warnock, Ossoff Will Undermine Police https://t.co/FZ9KTOo4Li
In total, at least 93 Georgia sheriffs have endorsed Ossoff’s opponent, Republican senator David Perdue.
— Constitutionally concerned fed up californian 🇺🇸 (@UpInTheHills) December 16, 2020
While neither Democrats Warnock or Ossoff have specifically used terms like “defund the police” in any of their campaigns, Warnock has promoted that policing needs to be reimagined and Ossoff has suggested that police budgets should be “on the line” when general budget cuts across the board are being considered.
But campaign messaging aside, Georgia GOP spokeswoman Abigail Sigler thinks that the two Democrats vying for the Senate seats in Georgia would likely toe the party line for Biden, if elected:
“Biden, Ossoff, and Warnock share the same misguided vision for our country, and defunding the police is at the very top of their list. Georgians who stand with the rule of law must support Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler. The safety of our communities depends on it.”
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We at Law Enforcement Today recently reported on the conversation Biden held where he’d instructed those in attendance to calm down on the police reform talks until after the Senate runoffs.
Here’s that previous report.
WASHINGTON, DC – During a recent virtual meeting attended by Joe Biden and several civil rights leaders that have been among the “defund the police” crowd, Biden told the attendees to slow their roll when it comes to “police reform.”
Biden warns democrats against ‘defund the police’ push before Georgia Senate runoff. https://t.co/Uht4PeRUo1
— National Police Association (@NatPoliceAssoc) December 12, 2020
Figures such as NAACP President Derrick Johnson and Rev. Al Sharpton were in attendance at said meeting, where Biden explained that getting overzealous in police reform efforts and rhetoric during the election season didn’t exactly help the Democratic party.
Audio that was leaked from the meeting had Biden warning that getting too jumpy toward police reform efforts prior to the Georgia Senate runoff elections in January could result in not attaining the de facto Senate majority:
“I also don’t think we should get too far ahead of ourselves on dealing with police reform in that, because they’ve already labeled us as being ‘defund the police’ anything we put forward in terms of the organizational structure to change policing – which I promise you, will occur. Promise you.”
Biden laid some credibility to this take on how the “defund the police” branding wound up hurting the Democratic party during election season this year:
“That’s how they beat the living hell out of us across the country, saying that we’re talking about defunding the police. We’re not. We’re talking about holding them accountable.”
“We’re talking about giving them money to do the right things. We’re talking about putting more psychologists and psychiatrists on the telephones when the 911 calls through.”
“We’re talking about spending money to enable them to do their jobs better, not with more force, with less force and more understanding.”
It was in no uncertain terms that Biden was conveying that police reform topics need to be avoided at all costs before the Senate runoffs in Georgia, saying:
“I just raise it with you to think about how much do we push between now and January 5 – we need those two seats – about police reform. But I guarantee you, there will be a full-blown commission. I guarantee you it’s a major, major, major element.”
The reason why Democrats want those Georgia Senate seats so badly is because it would leave the Senate in a 50-50 split between Republicans and Democrats.
In leaked recording, President-elect Biden told civil rights leaders that the GOP used the slogan “defund the police” to “beat the living hell” out of Democrats.https://t.co/xB3RR1TBCv
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) December 10, 2020
So, when there’s a literal 50-50 split on efforts put before the Senate (assuming everyone in the Senate always toes the party line on matters they vote on), then the vice president would serve as the tie-breaking vote.
Hence, a de facto control of the Senate by Democrats if both Georgia runoffs are secured.
Biden made it abundantly clear during the same meeting that while he has zero issue exercising executive actions where possible, he’s not going to entertain executive action that subverts the Constitution:
“I am not going to violate the Constitution. Executive authority that my progressive friends talk about is way beyond the bounds…whether it’s far left or far right, there is a Constitution.”
Since Biden has essentially declared that he has zero desire to undermine the Constitution, it makes sense that he’s instructing those among his inner circle to tread lightly until after the Senate runoffs in Georgia.
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