Detroit’s Chief of Police has said a local Congresswoman who called for the abolition of the police, should resign.
Chief James Craig said he believes Rep. Rashida Tlaibhad should step down from office after she called for the abolishment of police following the fatal shooting of unarmed black man Daunte Wright.
‘It wasn’t an accident. Policing in our country is inherently & intentionally racist,’ Tlaib posted to Twitter.
‘Daunte Wright was met with aggression & violence. I am done with those who condone government-funded murder. No more policing, incarceration, and militarization. It can’t be reformed.’
Detroit’s police chief said he would ‘love’ to see Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib resign after her call for abolishing police departments
Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib has called for the abolishment of police following the fatal shooting of unarmed black man Daunte Wright
Tlaib – who is a member of Congress’ far-left ‘Squad’ alongside Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar – set off fierce debate with the incendiary tweet, which was ‘liked’ more than 23,000 times.
The Michigan Rep. made the radical declaration just ones ay after Wright was shot dead at a traffic stop in Minnesota when a white cop reached for her gun instead of a Taser, which has been characterized as an accident.
But Chief Craig said she should step down from office.
‘I’d love to see her resign, I’d throw her a goodbye party. Let her go. Who is she speaking for? Let me just say this, when you talk about abolishing police, incarceration, you talk about safe cities – what do you think the residents in Detroit want?’
‘Is she truly representing the people, or is she representing a fringe group? She does not speak for black and brown people in our city.
‘If I made comments on par with hers, they’d be calling for my resignation,’ said Chief Craig.
But Tlaib’s office was quick to fire back responding with a statement.
‘It’s a disappointment and unproductive for Chief Craig to run to the cameras to call for Congresswoman Tlaib’s resignation. One would think Chief Craig has have more important things to do.’
‘Congresswoman Tlaib has the strong support of her district and is not going anywhere. She will continue to work on policies that address the systematic problems in our country, and work to ensure every person feels safe and has the opportunity to thrive.’
After last week’s tweet, Tlaib clarified her comments days later stressing she ‘understood that many are concerned about public safety, but it is clear that more investment in police, incarceration, and criminalization will not deliver safety.’
Over the weekend at an event, she responded further saying that society can’t police away its issues. ‘That’s not the way to approach it.’
Congresswoman Tlaib’s office was quick to fire back responding with a statement
She also responded to the Chief’s resignation call in an email to Fox 2.
‘I have never shied away from speaking truth to power. That’s why I’ve repeatedly spoken out against the Detroit Police Department’s violent treatment of our residents,’ the email read.
‘Report after report cites DPD’s harmful treatment of Black Lives Matter protestors. The city even took protesters to court, in an attempt to intimidate the movement.’
Tlaib responded to Craig’s question about who she represents.
‘I represent the communities that are afraid to be pulled over by the police because they are scared that they could be murdered,’ she said.
‘The $300 million that’s spent on DPD each year would be better spent on addressing poverty, education, and jobs in our communities. I will continue to work on policies that address systemic problems in our communities―such as banning racist facial recognition surveillance―to ensure every person feels safe and has the opportunity to thrive.’
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, pictured last week, has called for a drastic rethinking of policing
Ocasio-Cortez is pictured with fellow ‘squad’ members Tlaib (far left), Ilhan Omar (second left) and Ayanna Pressley (right) in July 2019
Fellow squad member Rep., New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said reform of the police is no longer enough as she joined Tlaib’s call, last week, for the police to be abolished.
‘Daunte Wright’s killing was not a random, disconnected ‘accident’ – it was the repeated outcome of an indefensible system that grants impunity for state violence, rewards it w/ endlessly growing budgets at the cost of community investment, & targets those who question that order,’ said Ocasio-Cortez.
‘Cameras, chokehold bans, ‘retraining’ funds, and similar reform measures do not ultimately solve what is a systemic problem.
‘That system will find a way – killings happen on camera, people are killed in other ways, retraining grows $ while often substituting for deeper measures.’
Her comments mark her strongest support yet for a movement to abolish the police. She has previously backed calls to defund police departments, but has not until now spoken in favor of a total scrapping of the forces, and starting again.
Asked in June what an America with defunded police would look like, she replied: ‘It looks like a suburb.’
She continued: ‘Affluent white communities already live in a world where they choose to fund youth, health, housing etc more than they fund police.
‘When a teenager or preteen does something harmful in a suburb (I say teen bc this is often where lifelong carceral cycles begin for Black and Brown communities), White communities bend over backwards to find alternatives to incarceration for their loved ones to ‘protect their future,’ like community service or rehab or restorative measures.
‘Why don’t we treat Black and Brown people the same way?’
The analyst group Public Citizen counted 991 people killed by police in the U.S. last year. They tweeted that there were only 18 days where the police did not kill someone in 2020.
Last summer, calls for police reform were high on the agenda after George Floyd was killed by a white Minnesota police officer. Among the more radical proposals were to defund the police.
The Detroit chief argued the majority of the community supported the police and that activists simply riled people up even more.
Daunte Wright, 20, was shot by a Brooklyn Center police officer last Sunday during a traffic stop
Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old father-of-one was reportedly pulled over for expired license plate tags. Police soon realized he had an outstanding warrant.
Wright stepped out of his vehicle at the request of police, before he tried to get back inside and flee the scene.
At that point, Officer Kimberly Potter went to reach for her Taser, but instead pulled out her gun and fired at Wright.
‘I’ll Tase you! I’ll Tase you! Taser! Taser! Taser!’ Potter could be heard shouting in her bodycam video.
Immediately after, Potter can be heard saying: ‘Holy sh*t. I shot him’.
He was pronounced dead at the scene.
A memorial for Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center, where he was shot and killed last weekend
Kimberly Potter, 48, shot and killed Wright. She resigned from Brooklyn Center police Tuesday