Congressman Matt Gaetz Denounces Democrats’ Deadly Anti-Police Narrative, Promises to Work Together on Meaningful Reform
Washington, DC — Today, during the House Judiciary Committee’s hearing on policing practices, Congressman Matt Gaetz (FL-01) denounced the left’s dangerous and deadly campaign to “defund the police,” displaying inflammatory tweets by activists promoting radical agendas that were retweeted and supported by progressive Democrat Members of Congress.
Congressman Gaetz asked members of the witness panel to go on record and raise their hand if they wanted to defund the police. No witness raised a hand.
Additionally, Congressman Gaetz addressed the recently-introduced legislation, H.R. 7120, “The Justice in Policing Act”, and promised bipartisan cooperation on sensible reform that does not include defunding the police or that creates an overgeneralized indictment of the institution of law enforcement itself.
Video of Congressman Gaetz’s questioning at the hearing along with a rough transcript may be found below. The tweets Congressman Gaetz referenced in his questioning may also be found HERE.
REP. GAETZ: Thank you Mr. Chairman, Mr. Floyd. I don't know that the cameras picked it up or saw it, but when Angela talked about her brother dying. I saw a physical reaction from you I saw you lean over in your chair, I thought I noticed your body even tremble with empathy and care for Angela and her brother, Pat who passed away. If you could say anything to the people who killed Pat, what would it be?
MR. FLOYD: Life is precious. Everybody should be able to live and be able to walk this earth in a journey that they want to. Nobody should have to be filled with hatred and so much animosity that they want to kill somebody Dr. King said a long time ago — he wanted everybody around the world to be able to join hands together. And I think right now, if he was here right now, he would understand that the world is united right now. And we all are coming together.
REP. GAETZ: That is so powerful, and I deeply thank you for that — and I want to test that sense of unity, and Mr. Chairman, if we could get the witnesses who are joining remotely to be on the — on the screen so you can see them. I have a question I would like to ask everyone, and I apologize for the crude nature in which I have to ask this, but there's just so many witnesses. If you believe that we should defund the police, will you please raise your hand? [no one raises hand]
Okay, so that's unifying and wonderful that here we are gathered. I didn't see anyone raise their hand to defund the police. I certainly didn't see any of the Republican witnesses. And so I'm going to now go through and see where that sentiment may have been reflected. Here's a tweet from one of two of our congressional colleagues, supporting this group “Black Visions Minnesota,” and the next please — and then here's that group that same group, Black Visions Minnesota, that my congressional colleagues are raising money for, saying that they should we should “end the police” and going to the next one. And then here's that same organization retweeting “Rebel Scum”: “abolish the police.” And then here's the same group saying that instead of police, we need therapists, doctors, and street medics, not cops. Mr. Bongino, in your experience, every time someone calls 911, would a therapist or a medic be sufficient or sometime do people need cops?
MR. BONGINO: I'm quite unclear how a medic is going to help with an armed subject who is assaulting his wife in a domestic violence situation or elsewhere. I'm not sure how that's going to be of any value.
REP. GAETZ: And here again is that same group saying that we need lasers to disorient surveillance cameras, and we need water balloons filled with milk to throw at people — again this is the organization that my congressional colleagues are raising money to support, if we could go to the next one. And then then here again that that same organization, that multiple members of Congress are supporting, saying it's not enough to only abolish police or prisons — we need to abolish race, abolish ICE, abolish the military, abolish the state, abolish the borders. And again, this is what our colleagues are raising money for and, and I and it's not just any member of Congress, it's actually one of our treasured colleagues on the Judiciary Committee, the gentlelady from Washington, raising money for this very same organization. Mrs. Underwood-Jacobs. Your brother is someone who was part of this law enforcement community when he gave his life. When you learn that my colleagues in Congress are raising money for an organization that promotes defunding the police, destroying our borders defunding our military and taking apart the state all together, how does that make you feel?
MRS. UNDERWOOD JACOBS: Actually, I find that conduct to be deplorable. And we elect officials to represent everyone. And the idea to have our communities without protection and safety is wrong. So, my, my response to that would be for people to get out and vote and get the right person in office to ensure that we feel protected and our children feel protected for generations to come.
REP. GAETZ: I appreciate that greatly. Mr. Floyd, again, I appreciate your calls — not only today, but in the direct aftermath of your brother’s killing — you showed grace, and care for your fellow Americans, and I you know, I don't know if everyone is religious, but I do believe God is working through you to try to call us together. And finally, I wanted to thank Congresswoman Bass for the legislation she's introduced and that constellation of ideas. While I think that we can fine-tune elements to ensure that we don't defund the police — that we don't make our communities less safe. I do think there is not a legitimate defense of chokeholds, or lynching, or bad cops that get shuttled around, and you will be able to count on Republican cooperation as we hone these ideas, and hopefully pass them and get them to the President's desk. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I yield back.
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