Here's How Much 'Defund the Police' Squad Members Have Spent on Security for Themselves in 2021

Posted: Jul 24, 2021 9:00 AM
Here's How Much 'Defund the Police' Squad Members Have Spent on Security for Themselves in 2021

Source: AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

Several radical leftists who are members of the Squad in the U.S. House of Representatives — including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Jamaal Bowman, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, and Cori Bush — are well-known for their rhetoric pushing for American cities to defund their police departments. And while it's their right to advocate for what has already proven to cause a dystopian reality in American cities, they are not immune to criticism for being hypocrites. 

As it turns out, according to public data their campaigns must disclose to the Federal Election Commission, several Democrats who advocate for cuts to police budgets spent thousands on security for themselves. 

A review of FEC reports from the first two quarters of 2021 conducted by Townhall found tens of thousands of dollars spent by Squad members' campaigns categorized as "security services." Apparently, even those who demonize America's law enforcement officers still want to have the peace of mind that comes from knowing there's someone protecting them. 

While these liberal-privileged members of Congress have the means to throw thousands of dollars at private security firms, millions of Americans — including those in their own districts being overrun with violent crime in the wake of cuts to police budgets — now live under the everyday threat of a random drive-by or stray bullet senselessly cutting a loved one's life short.

Missouri Democrat Rep. Cori Bush's campaign paid a handful of entities for security services totaling more than $98,000 from January through June despite her frequent statements advocating for police budgets to be slashed. "It’s not a slogan. It’s a mandate for keeping our people alive. Defund the police," she has said while knowing her own safety will not be jeopardized as a result. Meanwhile, her community deals with the highest murder rate in 50 years.  

"Defunding police means defunding police," is just one quote on the topic from Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). Yet her campaign racked up more than $59,000 in security costs so far in 2021. Additional notes on AOC's FEC reports show this included an alarm system — most of which automatically notify police dispatchers when an alarm is triggered. Her expenditures also included more than $6,000 paid to a company that installs window films, including some that make them impact and shatter-resistant. Her desire for security makes sense: New York is seeing a spike in crime so bad that an ex-cop is likely to be its next mayor. 

When Barack Obama aired some criticism of calls to defund the police, Ilhan Omar (D-MN) defended the movement saying "it's not a slogan but a policy demand," adding "centering the demand for equitable investments and budgets for communities across the country gets us progress and safety." Not enough progress and safety, apparently, as Omar spent more than $6,000 on security. Her campaign expenditures are meager compared to her other squad colleagues, but still more than most families in her Minneapolis congressional district could afford to keep themselves safe amid rising violence.

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"I support a radical re-imagining of community safety and public safety, which means reallocating and not further investing in a carceral state," explained Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) to CNN's Don Lemon. Pressley was, however, apparently unable to radically re-imagine her own security and spent more than $7,500 for security services.

Another advocate for defunding police — Rep. Jamaal Bowman, a Democratic Socialist from New York — saw his campaign spend more than $7,800 on security services so far this year. Perhaps even more shamelessly, Bowman directly requested police protection for his private residence from the Yonkers Police Department. Bowman is on the record saying America's system of policing is "cruel and inhumane" and "can't be reformed," saying the solution is to "defund the system that's terrorizing our communities." If he really meant that, it's hard to believe he'd request more police for his own neighborhood to watch over his family.

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