Fox News reports the sister of a federal protective officer in Oakland who was fatally shot during a protest for George Floyd that turned violent told Congress on Wednesday calls to defund the police are “ridiculous”.
“It is a ridiculous solution to claim that defunding police departments is the solution to police brutality and discrimination because it’s not a solution. It gets us nowhere as a nation and removes the safety net protection that every citizen deserves from their communities elected officials,” Angela Underwood Jacobs said at the House Judiciary Committee’s hearing on proposed changes to police practices on Capitol Hill.
Jacobs’ brother, Patrick Underwood, was stationed in front of the U.S. Courthouse in Oakland Calif., on May 29 when a vehicle pulled up the building and opened fire at him and another contract security officer who both worked for Homeland Security’s Federal Protective Service. Underwood was killed while the second officer was wounded.
Underwood’s death happened amid ongoing protests decrying police brutality after Floyd– an unarmed black man in Minneapolis– died after a former police officer kneeled on his neck for over eight minutes.
Floyd’s death has sparked a national movement that has raised calls by activists and some liberals to defund the police.
While not all Democrats are on board with the idea to “defund” police departments, lawmakers are seeking legislation to pass sweeping reforms aimed at tightening accountability by police departments for uses of force and banning excessive force tactics such as the use of chokeholds, tear gas, and pepper spray.
After Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd, testified to the committee, Jacobs, who is also a city council member for Lancaster, Calif., urged lawmakers to focus on reinvesting in other areas where racial disparities exist, such as education, jobs and housing rather than dismantling law enforcement agencies altogether.
She also condemned the use of violence against police officers and other tactics such as looting and burning– which she said has marred otherwise peaceful protests in dozens of cities across the country– calling these acts “blind violence.”
“The actions of a few are dividing us as a nation,” Jacobs said of Floyd’s death. “We will never solve generational systemic injustice with looting burning, destruction of property and killing in the name of justice.”
“When those in a position of authority choose to abuse their power, that is a very definition of oppression. And when innocent people are harmed in the name of justice, no one prevails. We all lose,” she added.