During a roundtable discussion with President Donald Trump and a group of black conservative leaders and media personalities, SiriusXM Patriot host Sonnie Johnson effectively explained why defunding is not the way to address policing issues in black communities, pointing to Ferguson, Missouri, to illustrate her point.
In response to the recent police killings of George Floyd in Minneapolis and Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky, Democrats have pushed for defunding or dismantling police departments. The problem, however, is not the existence of police, said Johnson. Often, the problem is how police are directed to do their jobs.
“We need the police,” Johnson said, referring to black communities. “But if you take and look at what happened in Ferguson … the mayor’s office was using the police force as a taxation unit. They were forcing interactions between police and the citizens, as a way for them to raise money and bring money into the mayor’s office.”
The result of that policy was over-policing of the community, creating an excess of unnecessary negative interactions between police officers and citizens, and an environment of distrust between police and the community they were supposed to be serving. That distrust exploded when Michael Brown was killed in 2014.
“So it is not the fault of the police, nor is the fault of the citizenry what the legislature and the executive branches of city government are putting into legislative practice,” Johnson said, also noting that these problems often exist in areas where Democrats have dominated for decades.
Republicans need to invest in presenting legitimate alternatives in Democratic-run communities that are suffering under liberal mismanagement if they want to see improvement in policing, health, education, and other areas in black communities.
“All of these things have been under Democratic control for 60 years,” Johnson said. “And they are not going to change until we have a Republican Party that is willing to go into these communities and actually offer a choice to these people about how we can do things differently. Because the way it is structured now, the only choice that we get is left or even further left, and we’re not getting the opportunity to actually vote on what we look at as conservatism, equally applied. The very basic economic principles that we on the right say are significant in our success and seeing the success in our country, those are not being offered at the local level in black communities.”
Watch the full roundtable discussion here (Johnson’s segment begins at the 12:23 mark):
Trump holds roundtable on race relations with prominent black leaders