Why the Newest Squad Member Is Now Calling to Defund the Police

Posted: Dec 30, 2020 9:00 AM
Why the Newest Squad Member Is Now Calling to Defund the Police

Source: AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

In a Democratic Caucus call after the election, Virginia Rep. Abigail Spanberger lashed out at the party for losses and close calls that she claimed never should have happened.

“Defund police almost cost me my race because of an attack ad,” she said, according to a Washington Post reporter. “Don’t say socialism ever again.”  

"If we run this race again we will get f*cking torn apart again in 2022," she added, noting that the party needs to  “get back to basics.”

It seems not everyone is on board with that, however. 

The newest member of the Squad—Rep.-elect Jamaal Bowman—is again calling to defund the police after the Department of Justice announced no federal charges would be brought against the officers involved in the shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice in 2014.

Responding to an Associated Press tweet about the development, Bowman said, “We’re fighting in your memory, Tamir. You won't be forgotten.”

"A system this cruel and inhumane can't be reformed. Defund the police, and defund the system that's terrorizing our communities," he added.

"The Justice Department announced today that the career prosecutors reviewing the independent federal investigation into the fatal shooting of Tamir Rice on Nov. 22, 2014, in Cleveland, Ohio, found insufficient evidence to support federal criminal charges against Cleveland Division of Police (CDP) Officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback," the Department of Justice said. 

According to the factual overview of the case, Rice had been at a Cleveland park for most of the day and was "frequently seen playing with a toy black airsoft pistol with a removable magazine that was visually virtually indistinguishable from a real .45 Colt semi-automatic pistol."

He would periodically point the gun at people at the park and at the adjoining playground. 

While the park video captured some of the encounter with officers, "the video footage is grainy, shot from a distance, does not show detail or perspective, and portions of the incident are not visible because of the location of the patrol car.  Further, the time lapse footage captures approximately two frames per second at a variable rate, which is incapable of capturing continuous action."

The government would have had to "prove beyond a reasonable doubt the officers acted willfully."

"This high legal standard – one of the highest standards of intent imposed by law – requires proof that the officer acted with the specific intent to do something the law forbids.  It is not enough to show that the officer made a mistake, acted negligently, acted by accident or mistake, or even exercised bad judgment.

"Although Tamir Rice’s death is tragic, the evidence does not meet these substantial evidentiary requirements," the statement continued. "In light of this, and for the reasons explained below, career federal prosecutors with both the Civil Rights Division and the U.S.  Attorney’s Office concluded that this matter is not a prosecutable violation of the federal statutes."