A senior adviser to Georgia Democratic Senate candidate Raphael Warnock has said defunding the police is not a radical policy.
Dasheika Ruffin, a consultant with the left-wing American Civil Liberties Union, in June tweeted an article by fellow ACLU adviser Paige Fernandez that argued divesting resources from law enforcement would improve public safety.
“The movement to defund the police isn’t as radical as some may think,” Ruffin tweeted. “It’s about a complete reimagining of law enforcement in the United States.”
Ruffin also tweeted, “Leadership” on June 1 to a call for the New York City Council to reduce the police budget by $1 billion over the next four years. The next day, she retweeted a woman using the hashtag #DefundThePolice.
Warnock’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment. Warnock says he does not support defunding police, although he does support “responsibly” funding it.
Warnock came under fire for calling police “thugs” and “gangsters” during sermons at Ebenezer Baptist Church in 2015, and he also invited a Texas preacher who supported defunding the police to virtually address Ebenezer in September.
Calls on the left to defund the police grew following George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis police custody in May. The movement proved unpopular with voters, however, and some House Democrats blamed the movement for their disappointing showing in the 2020 election.
Warnock is headed to a Georgia Senate runoff race against Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R., Ga.). Loeffler has touted her pro-police record on the campaign trail. Democrats need to win that seat as well as another Georgia runoff to control the Senate majority under a Joe Biden administration.