Rep. Kat Cammack (R-Fla.) has offered all Congress members who voted for the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021 to join her on a police ride-along to understand the consequences of defunding the police, but none have accepted.
Cammack explained H.R. 1280, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021, on the John Solomon Reports podcast. "Essentially what it does," she said," is it defunds police, strips qualified immunity, redirects funding from police departments for critical grant programs, gives that money to groups like the NAACP and ACLU.
"And it ties accreditation to the fact that these departments now have to have citizen advisory boards signing off on their accreditation that are all funded by the ACLU and the NAACP, and that's just some of the garbage that's in this bill. It's truly harrowing. I actually had a call with all of my sheriffs and police chiefs and asked them for their take on it. And they said, 'We can't survive this bill.'"
Two hundred and twenty Congress members voted for the bill, including one Republican — who accidentally hit the wrong button and later changed his vote — while 212 voted against it, including two Democrats.
Cammack's husband is a S.W.A.T. medic, and she brought his bulletproof vest to the House floor when she gave her speech on March 3, recounting the calls that her husband has responded to.
"I took my husband's S.W.A.T. vest to the House floor," Cammack said. "And when the speaker addressed me, I dropped it right on the table in front of me and just launched into what I describe as the most personal speech I've ever delivered on the House floor. And it was to illustrate the fact that what they were doing in that moment was taking that same vest off my husband's back. And they don't see it that way, and that, to me, is a problem."
She detailed some of the situations that police encounter to her congressional colleagues.
"And so I talked to them," Cammack said, "about the fact that, 'Listen, you're not getting up at 2 a.m. in the morning to respond to a murder, you're not missing your children's birthday parties to go respond to gang shootings. What have you done to put yourself in the shoes of the men and women who wear this uniform?' And as far as I can tell, nothing.
"And that is why I was so adamant about saying what I said on the House floor and they gaveled me down. In the video, you can hear the speaker banging the gavel pretty violently, to get me to stop talking. But before I could finish, you know, they got me to sit down, they cut me off. And since then I have said, 'Well, if they're not gonna let me finish my speech, I'll do it in other ways.'
"So this week, I actually had all my team hand-deliver letters to every single one of my colleagues that voted in support of this bill. And what I've done is I've challenged every single person who voted to defund the police to a ride-along, and I have made the commitment that I will fly to their districts, and I will do the ride-along with them."
When asked if any of the Congress members had accepted her police ride-along offer, Cammack responded, "They have not yet."
"I said, 'I will fly to your district, I will arrange the ride-along with your local sheriff's office, your police chief, I'll make it happen. If you want to come to my district and do a ride-along with my my folks, I'll make that happen.'"
Cammack also offered to put the Congress members in police academy simulation units to experience situations similar to what law enforcement officers face.
"'And if that doesn't work for you, I'll take you to your local police academy, and I'll put you in a sim[ulation] unit,'" she said. "'I want you, if you have 30 minutes, go in the sim unit. Tell me what you would do in those situations where you have less than a second to decide: Your life or theirs?'
"Are you going to be able to walk out of a sim unit after running those scenarios and still say, 'I think we need to defund the police'?
"No, you're gonna say we need to get them more money, we need to get more resources, we need to actually support them so that we are having this conversation down the road a year from now saying, 'Our communities are stronger, crime has gone down, retention is better, recruitment is up.' We need to be doing that. And I guarantee you that not a single soul that has voted to defund the police has done any of this, and that's what I'm looking to change."