Good friends and former colleagues Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and former Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) roundly condemned the push to defund police in America in the wake of George Floyd's tragic death on May 25.
Many on the left have begun calling for defunding the police in communities across America as a response to allegations of systemic racism within police departments. In Minneapolis, where Floyd was killed, the city council recently signed a pledge to officially dismantle the city's police department.
What did they say?
In an appearance on Fox News Sunday morning, Scott called defunding police a "ridiculous" idea whose "time has not come" and "should never come."
"The absolute nation requires law and order," he added. "We need order in our streets, and the easiest way to have that is to have a strong presence of character-driven law enforcement officers."
Gowdy went even further, saying, "Defunding the police is the single dumbest idea I have ever heard."
"Who is going to process crime scenes, arrest bad people?" continued the former South Carolina representative. "Who's going to enforce any law, child sex abuse, homicide? Who's going to do it if it's not the police?"
Senator Tim Scott and Trey Gowdy Join Sunday Morning Futures to Discuss Racism, Reform, Healing youtu.be
The two were careful to stress, however, that reform is definitely needed.
Scott, who has been stopped by police seven times since becoming a senator, specifically pushed back on an op-ed by Heather Mac Donald in the Wall Street Journal that suggests that systemic police racism is a myth. The senator said while he has no doubt the average police officer is not racist, he argues that the data Mac Donald used to build her argument is incomplete.
"When you look at the actual facts, black folks are two and a half times more likely to be shot by an officer than whites," Scott said, noting that less than 45% of law enforcement agencies report their data to the FBI. "There's a lot missing in the article."
Gowdy added that the issues of law enforcement in communities of color are "much broader than who shoots whom ... it's arrest rates, it's sentencing disparities, it's access to bond, it's access to diversion programs."
In an effort to compile more accurate data, Scott has proposed legislation called the George Floyd and Walter Scott Notification Act, which would require law enforcement agencies to provide detailed reports on use of force incidents that result in death.
In a tweet following the interview, Scott wrote: "Defunding the police would cause harm to our most vulnerable, but clearly, REFORM IS NEEDED! My upcoming George Floyd and Walter Scott Notification Act requires officers to report on shootings & use of force incidents."