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Nancy Pelosi: 'Defund the police is dead'

"Community safety, to protect and defend in every way, is our oath of office," Pelosi said.

Published: February 14, 2022 8:16pm

Updated: February 14, 2022 8:22pm

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Sunday said the Democratic Party does not support defunding the police, even though numerous Democratic lawmakers have voiced support for defunding or abolishing law enforcement.

ABC News' George Stephanopoulos asked Pelosi how she thought Democrats should address Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) standing by "defund the police." Bush defended the slogan during an interview with Axios published last week.

"Well, with all the respect in the world for Cori Bush, that is not the position of the Democratic Party. Community safety, to protect and defend in every way, is our oath of office," Pelosi told Stephanopoulos

The house speaker said she has "sympathy" for people who are mistreated and stressed the importance of passing police reform bills, "whether it's no-knock, chokehold, or some of those issues, even if we can't get it all done."

"I quote one of my colleagues from New York, Ritchie Torres, a brand new member of Congress way on the left, saying that 'defund the police is dead.' That causes concern with a few in our caucus, but public safety is our responsibility," Pelosi said. 

She added that she is in favor of measures from New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D) and Los Angeles mayoral candidate Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) in support of the police.

Bush defended her anti-police beliefs a few weeks after her car was hit by gunfire in St. Louis. 

Bush told Axios, "'Defund the police' is not the problem… We dangled the carrot in front of people’s faces and said we can get it done and that Democrats deliver, when we haven’t totally delivered."

At least 20 Democratic members of Congress have voiced support for abolishing law enforcement or defunding police at least to some extent, according to Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.).

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