Trump: There won’t be defunding of police

US President and his allies criticize activists and some Democrats who have supported the "defund the police" movement.

Ben Ariel ,

Donald Trump
Donald Trump

US President Donald Trump and his allies on Monday criticized activists and some Democrats who have supported the "defund the police" movement.

"There won’t be defunding. There won’t be dismantling of our police, and there’s not going to be any disbanding of our police. Our police have been letting us live in peace, and we want to make sure we don’t have any bad actors in there," Trump said during a meeting with law enforcement officers and police chiefs at the White House, according to The Hill.

He added that he believes "99 percent" of officers are "great people."

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters at an earlier briefing that "the president is appalled by the defund the police movement," singling out pledges from the mayors of Los Angeles and New York City to cut police budgets.

"That means cutting of police. That means reducing police departments. That means defunding police departments, if not getting rid of them entirely," she added. "No, [Trump] doesn’t agree with that."

The comments follow Sunday’s vote in the Minneapolis City Council to disband the local police department.

Nine of the council’s 13 members made the pledge. Members of the council told The New York Times they plan to work with the local community to develop the new system following the death of George Floyd.

"Defund the police" has become a common refrain among protesters across the country in the last two weeks. Activists say they support demilitarizing and cutting funds for police departments and reallocating money to other services such as affordable housing and mental health.

Some more liberal lawmakers and organizers are in favor of disbanding police departments in their current form altogether.

Democrats in both chambers introduced sweeping reforms on Monday designed to combat racial disparities in the criminal justice system. Crafted by leaders of the Congressional Black Caucus, the legislation aims to rein in the use of excessive force, particularly the violence targeting blacks and other minorities.

Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, opposes defunding the police, a spokesman for his campaign said Monday.

"He hears and shares the deep grief and frustration of those calling out for change, and is driven to ensure that justice is done and that we put a stop to this terrible pain," spokesman Andrew Bates said in a statement. "Biden supports the urgent need for reform — including funding for public schools, summer programs, and mental health and substance abuse treatment separate from funding for policing — so that officers can focus on the job of policing."

Floyd died in Minneapolis on May 25 after a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, kneeled on his neck during an arrest.

Chauvin and three other officers involved in the arrest have been fired from the police department, arrested. Chauvin has been charged with second-degree murder, after initially being charged with third-degree murder, while the other three officers have been charged with aiding and abetting.

Footage of the arrest that immediately went viral late last month prompted widespread protests and violent riots in the nation and across the world, with demonstrators calling for an end to police brutality and racism.

While Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey called for the arrest of the officer charged with killing Floyd shortly after his death, he has said he does not support “abolishing the entire police department.”

Frey was booed out of a recent demonstration in Minneapolis after saying just that on Saturday, viral footage shows.