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Black activist says those calling to defund police should offer own zip codes as trial areas

'And then watch how all the criminals will line up to go there,' veteran community activist and black economic empowerment advocate Robert Woodson told Just the News.

Updated: June 10, 2020 - 4:31pm

Those now calling for defunding police "should demonstrate by example by getting together and offering zip codes and then declaring themselves a police-free zone," black economic empowerment advocate and community activist Robert Woodson told Just the News. "And then watch how all the criminals will line up to go there."

Cities nationwide, including Los Angeles and New York City, have contemplated cutting police funding amid violent social unrest and widespread protests demanding an end to police brutality against blacks. The Minneapolis City Council announced it would vote to disband the cities’ police force altogether after the death of George Floyd, an African-American, in Minneapolis police custody last month.

Woodson told Just the News that he was troubled by the disproportionately negative media coverage of police and noted that while Floyd's death was prominently covered by the media, there was comparatively little media coverage of the death of David Dorn, a retired St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department captain who was killed while reportedly defending a friend's pawn shop from looters. 

"The media really hypes what a minority of black elites advocate," Woodson said. "I never believed that upper-income blacks who live in gated communities and send their kids to private schools presume to be speaking for low-income blacks in public housing, who rely on the police."

“We won’t be defunding our police,” President Trump said Monday. "We won’t be dismantling our police."

The president spoke at a roundtable with law enforcement officials, where he effusively praised the work of law enforcement, calling them the “finest law enforcement anywhere in the world” while acknowledging there was room for reform.

Attorney General Barr said law enforcement understands that African-Americans have “distrust” for police and that U.S. laws did not provide equal protection to African-Americans until the 1960s. Barr said he is hearing much interest from police leaders on clarifying the standards and training on use of force, and “we look forward to working with you to get that done.”

Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden's campaign said Monday said that the candidate does not support defunding the police. “As his criminal justice proposal made clear months ago, [former] Vice President Biden does not believe that police should be defunded," campaign spokesman Andrew Bates told reporters. "He hears and shares the deep grief and frustration of those calling out for change, and is driven to ensure that justice is done and that we put a stop to this terrible pain." 

Bates said Biden nevertheless supports the "urgent need" for reform, including more funding for public schools, mental health and substance abuse treatment programs — so that officers can focus on policing.

A forthcoming study by Harvard economists found that many more black Americans die as a result of police drawdowns following high-profile, police brutality protests. Police become skittish following viral, racially-charged police misconduct investigations, leading to reluctance to protect black neighborhoods, according to the academic paper by Harvard economist Roland Fryer and co-author Tanaya Devi, reported on by The Wall Street Journal's Jason Riley

Even in the midst of heightened racial tensions after the death of African-American George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, 72% of American voters, including 51% of black voters, have a favorable view of their local police department, according to a new Just the News Daily Poll with Scott Rasmussen released Monday.

Majorities of black and Latino New Yorkers supported "broken windows" policing, according to a 2015 Quinnipiac University poll looking at how the city viewed crimefighting policies implemented by former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani during the 1990s. The poll was taken after the high-profile deaths at the hands of police of African-American males Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Freddie Gray and Eric Garner.

The "broken windows" policing, which included a robust police presence focused on smaller, non-violent crimes to prevent criminals escalating to more serious, violent crimes, resulted in plummeting homicides among black and brown neighborhoods.

A large, 62% majority of New Yorkers in the poll "supported police actively enforcing against quality of life offenses in their own neighborhood, and 34% disagreed," reported the New York Daily News' Erin Durkin. "The level of support was similar across racial groups — 61% of black voters, 59% of whites, and 68% of Hispanics said they want enforcement in their neighborhood.” 

NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea told Fox News on Monday he often receives requests for additional policemen and women to patrol neighborhoods.

"The usual thing I get when I go to a community meeting is 'a lot more cops,'" Shea said. "Any calls to defund the police, I think is — Lord help us if that ever came to pass. We're the bedrock, we're the foundation, and we need to build on that."

Shea added that he would support shifting some police funding internally toward youth programs like mentoring and internships.

"I think it's crimefighting," he said. "It's just crimefighting in a better way.

**This story has been updated to remove Trayvon Martin from the list of black males killed by police. Martin was killed by a civilian.**