Al Sharpton defended growing calls from progressives and Black Lives Matter to defund police departments across the United States, but added "defund the police" is a misleading slogan.
MSNBC host Joe Scarbrough pointed to how a Minneapolis city councilwoman's "nonanswer" on if "defund the police" actually means abolishing police departments "suggested that defunding the police is actually a code word for many people for reforming the police."
"That’s what I’ve heard. I’ve heard they’re really talking about adjusting and, in many ways, recommitting the funding toward things like community policing, like mental health, intervention that does not involve policing as we know it," Sharpton said.
"And putting a lot into police training. I don’t think that anyone, other than the far extremes are saying we don’t want any kind of policing at all, any kind of public safety. It’s to reinterpret how we do public safety and to reallocate those sources in ways that solve the problems in the areas that I just outlined. So I think the slogan may be misleading without interpretation," he added.
At many of the protests across the country, activists have increased their call to defund police departments. In Los Angeles, they have taken credit for Mayor Eric Garcetti putting forth a plan to cut the Los Angeles Police Department's budget by $100 million.
In Washington, D.C., after Mayor Muriel Bowser ordered a street nearby the White House to have "Black Lives Matter" painted on the street, protesters added, "Defund the Police."
Black Lives Matter organizers are painting “Defund the Police” in yellow paint on 16th Street right now pic.twitter.com/62zFMPXXOo— Samantha Schmidt (@schmidtsam7) June 7, 2020
The Minneapolis city council announced they have a veto-proof proposal to abolish their police department after riots and looting broke out in response to George Floyd's death while he was in their custody.