Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) called Monday for the end of policing and incarceration, claiming law enforcement systems are so broken they "can't be reformed."
Tlaib's comments came one day after Daunte Wright, a black man from Minnesota, was shot and killed during an encounter with police officers, triggering immediate protests in Brooklyn Center, a small town not far from Minneapolis.
Law enforcement claimed the officer who killed Wright did so accidentally, mistakenly discharging her firearm when she meant draw her Taser.
A vigil for Daunte Wright. (Nathan Howard/Getty Images)
In response, Tlaib declared Wright's death was no accident — but the outcome of a corrupt and racist law enforcement system.
"It wasn't an accident," Tlaib said. "Policing in our country is inherently & intentionally racist. Daunte Wright was met with aggression & violence."
"I am done with those who condone government funded murder. No more policing, incarceration, and militarization. It can't be reformed," she added.
Tlaib also "retweeted" Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), who declared policing a "public health crisis."
"Policing is a public health crisis. Mass incarceration is a public health crisis. Housing injustice is a public health crisis. Medical apartheid is a public health crisis. Racism is a public health crisis," Pressley said.
What is the background?
After the death of George Floyd last May, activists began loudly demanding that police departments be defunded, while others called for the abolition of police departments altogether.
However, those efforts ultimately failed.
The Minneapolis City Council, for example, promised to replace the police department with an alternative, community-based law enforcement system. But when violent crime rose there — as it did in 63 of the 66 largest police jurisdictions in the U.S. last year — city leaders were forced to beef up their policing systems.
In fact, the Minneapolis City Council approved in February $6.4 million in additional funding for the city's police department to hire dozens of new police officers.
Meanwhile, moderate Democrats believe rhetoric like Tlaib's not only caused Democrats to nearly lose their majority in the House in 2020, but believe such rhetoric spells electoral disaster in future elections.
"We have to commit to not saying the words 'defund the police' ever again," Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.) said after the election. "If we run this race again we will get f***ing torn apart again in 2022."