Recently-released public opinion polling showing that the overwhelming majority of Americans did not support defunding of police has pressured Democrat members of Congress to change their tune on defunding law enforcement.
The once catchy Black Lives Matters narrative of abolishing or defunding law enforcement is working against Democrats across the country, so those in vulnerable seats are now voicing their opposition to the violent rioting and call to reallocate funding or defund police outright.
Florida Democrat Reps. Stephanie Murphy and Charlie Crist, who both face tough re-election challenges this election cycle, have just recently begun to denounce the violent rioting and the call to defund police.
On September 8th, Murphy posted what appears to be her first public statement “strongly” opposing “calls to defund police” and the “bad actors” that have been rioting and destroying property.
As part of this deliberative process, I have sought input from forward-thinking local law enforcement leaders in our community who recognize that there is a problem and who want to be part of a just solution. I strongly oppose calls to “defund the police.” That is an irresponsible and overly-simplistic means of addressing a very complex problem. I believe meaningful reforms to policing practices are needed, but they must be done in a smart and strategic way that keeps our communities and our families safe.(Source)
Crist put out a statement about the grand jury findings in the Breonna Taylor police-involved shooting death in Louisville denouncing the “violence or harassment of anyone” and “slow the progress peaceful protestors are making.”
Both Crist and Murphy voted for the Justice in Policing Act of 2020, a police reform bill that calls for local and state law enforcement agencies to adhere to the bill or lose federal funding, bolstering the case that House Democrats want to defund police.
Murphy is will be facing Dr. Leo Valentin, and Crist will face-off against Air Force Veteran Anna Paulina Luna on November 3rd.