U.S. Rep. Ken Buck on Thursday introduced a resolution offering thanks and appreciation to law enforcement personnel while slamming calls to defund the police and “progressive groups” that participate in demonstrations.
“Democrat mayors and governors are allowing anarchists to burn our cities to the ground,” said Buck, who is also the chair of the Colorado Republican Party and a former district attorney. “The least we can do is offer our nation’s law enforcement officers our sincerest thanks and appreciation for their sacrifice to serve our communities regardless of the political winds of the day. Defunding the police will only make our cities less safe.”
The resolution has 21 co-sponsors, all Republicans, including U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn. It mentions in part that the U.S. House of Representatives “rejects the misguided and dangerous efforts to defund and dismantle the Nation’s law enforcement agencies.”
The Brookings Institution, a progressive-leaning think tank, reports that “defunding” police means a redirection of funds to other government-provided services, and is not synonymous with abolition. Advocates argue for a greater emphasis on services for mental health, homelessness and addiction in lieu of making police officers the default first responders.
However, Buck’s resolution notes that “protests sparked by the death of George Floyd have been hijacked by violent extremists and progressive groups seeking to sow discord, damage property, loot businesses, and inflict harm against civilians and law enforcement officers.”
Vandalism of federal property was a reason why the Trump Administration sent federal officers to Portland in recent weeks. Damage has also occurred in downtown Denver in association with recurring racial justice protests, but District Attorney Beth McCann wrote in Colorado Politics that white men with an inclination to destroy property are the vast majority of those charged in her jurisdiction.