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BLM founder accuses Biden, elected officials of 'deep cowardice' for refusing to defund police
Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

BLM founder accuses Biden, elected officials of 'deep cowardice' for refusing to defund police

In a recent interview with the Guardian, Black Lives Matter founder Patrisse Cullors accused President Joe Biden (D) and other elected officials of "deep cowardice" for refusing to defund the police. According to Cullors, the administration chose to allocate more funding to law enforcement after the activist movement helped get Biden elected.

Cullors, a self-described Marxist, co-founded BLM in 2013 with Alicia Garza and Ayọ Tometi — then known as Opal Tometi. Cullors stepped down from her executive director position with the BLM organization after coming under fire for purchasing several multimillion-dollar homes.

In an interview with the Guardian published Sunday, Cullors accused law enforcement of having an inherited "culture of violence" that can only be prevented when "courageous elected officials make it stop."

She noted the recent deaths of Tyre Nichols and her cousin, Keenan Anderson.

"Every year, families, community members, organizers have said this must stop and there's a different way to do this," Cullors stated. "And yet there has been deep cowardice from officials. The burden is on the officials who create the budgets for the police and other resources, who turn away from the violence and continue it in their departments."

The activist pointed direct blame at Biden and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

"It's truly a failure of leadership at the highest level, all the way up to our president," Cullors continued. "This movement was able to help get Joe Biden into office, and yet in his first State of the Union address, he yelled: 'Fund the police.'"

She referred to Biden's actions as a "direct affront" to the BLM movement.

In August 2022, during a speech regarding the administration's "Safer America" plan, Biden stated, "When it comes to public safety in this nation, the answer is not 'defund the police,' it's 'fund the police.'"

The administration's plan sought to allocate $35 billion to support law enforcement and crime prevention in the 2023 fiscal year.

Cullors called on elected officials to remove law enforcement officers from traffic stops, which she referred to as a "very reasonable demand." She noted that Berkeley, Philadelphia, and Seattle are already piloting programs that remove police officers from traffic stops.

She urged Buttigieg to "lead a conversation about what federal dollars could fund programs to remove law enforcement from traffic stops."

According to Cullors, "The people who hold the power have chosen not to wield it on behalf of Black life. They've chosen to side with violent police forces."

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