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Mitch McConnell decries 'outlandish' push to defund police departments as 'nonsense'

'Call me old-fashioned, but I think you may actually want a police officer to stop a criminal'

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)/(Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Monday sharply condemned growing calls from the left to defund police departments, decrying the "outlandish" proposals as "nonsense."

What are the details?

A movement to "defund the police" has gained momentum in recent days after nearly two weeks of nationwide protests over police brutality against black Americans in the wake of the death of George Floyd.

Speaking from the Senate floor, McConnell said, "We're already seeing outlandish calls, 'defund the police,' 'abolish the police,' take root within the left-wing leadership class," Fox News reported.

Over the weekend, the city council in Minneapolis — where Floyd was killed while in police custody — vowed to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department. Council President Lisa Bender told CNN she has already looked at ways to "shift the response away from armed police officers into a more appropriate response for mental health calls, for some domestic violence calls," and other emergency situations.

In his reaction to that, McConnell said, "The president of the city council in Minneapolis proclaimed she can imagine a future without police."

"I'm all for social work and mental health," McConnell conceded, before saying, "Call me old-fashioned, but I think you may actually want a police officer to stop a criminal and arrest him before we try to work through his feelings.

"Even if some left-wing leaders fall for this nonsense, I have a feeling the American people are too smart for that," McConnell added. "They know what happened to George Floyd is totally abhorrent. They also know that riots and looting are unacceptable. And they know that well-trained law enforcement officers are an important part of creating safe communities, not something to defund or abolish."

McConnell addresses widespread calls to defund and abolish the police www.youtube.com

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