As the November elections wrapped with a lackluster Democratic performance in the House of Representatives, infighting broke out within the party over policing issues.
Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., has tried to align his Democratic opponent Jon Ossoff with the “defund the police” rallying cry of the far left, but Ossoff has sought to stake out a more moderate police reform stance that still appeases progressives.
Perdue and Ossoff will face off in Georgia’s highly contentious Jan. 5 runoff election that could determine the fate of the Senate’s control.
Here’s where they stand on the issues of crime and policing:
Jon Ossoff (D)
Ossoff opposes defunding the police.
“I opposed defunding the police,” Ossoff said in a SiriusXM radio interview in June. “And quite frankly, it’s a counterproductive and foolish way of characterizing what I think for some folks is a desire to reform the police.”
Ossoff, in another interview, called to “demilitarize” the police.
“Far too many local police departments are heavily equipped with armored vehicles and military equipment, and when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”
Still, the Perdue campaign has pointed to comments Ossoff made in a radio interview, also in June, citing: “You have to have national standards for use of force, and yeah, you’ve got to be able to hold individual officers and entire departments accountable.”
The Ossoff campaign responded that the Democratic candidate was talking about supplemental police funding and that Ossoff’s position is similar to that of then-presidential candidate Joe Biden.
In June, Biden told CBS News: “No, I don’t support defunding the police. I support conditioning federal aid to the police, based on whether or not they meet certain basic standards of decency and honorableness. And in fact, are able to demonstrate they can protect the community and everybody in the community.”
Still, Ossoff has said that deep racial divides exist across the country and has supported a new Civil Rights Act to address police issues. As a senator, he said, he would fight to ban private prisons.
Sen. David Perdue (R)
Sen. Perdue, who was endorsed by the Georgia Fraternal Order of Police, has portrayed Ossoff as a “radical socialist” who supports defunding the police.
The senator has called for justice for George Floyd, a Black man who died on May 25 in Minneapolis after a police officer knelt on his neck for several minutes, and has supported the JUSTICE Act, the Senate’s police reform bill that never passed through Congress.
Perdue has also called for police forces to look more like the communities they serve and for more use of force training.
“First, the police forces have to reflect the demographics of the communities they serve in order to get confidence back up. That’s a major precept here. Second, I believe we need more training in these police forces to make sure we talk about when to use force and what level of force is appropriate,” Perdue said on Fox News in June.
“The use of lethal force is an extreme that we need to be very careful about. Last, we need a database to make sure bad apples don’t just flow from one police precinct to another or from one jurisdiction to another.”
Perdue lauded bipartisan reform under the 2018 First Step Act, and said Democrats were showing a “lack of sincerity” if they blocked the Senate police reform bill.
“This is where we have to put politics aside. If Democrats block this bill, I think it will demonstrate a lack of sincerity on their side to at least engage and find solutions to the problems that we’re talking about today.”
House Democrats had unveiled their own sweeping police reform bill, the Justice in Policing Act, it could never be reconciled with the JUSTICE Act.
Source by feeds.foxnews.com