Police officers are on the frontlines of keeping our communities safe and face a battle every day between life and death. When others run away from violence, police officers run towards it.
Sadly, they are now facing another battle – a battle from their own communities and the senseless calls for “defunding the police.”
What was once a rallying cry of the radical left has now become mainstream as more Democrats and leftist activists point to defunding – or even abolishing – the police.
Those Democrats are now using a tragic incident in Columbus to push this agenda, never mind the facts. The officer involved in the Ma’Khia Bryant shooting faced an agonizing decision – one that had to be made in a split second, and one that saved another young Black woman’s life.
However, instead of looking at the facts, that agonizing decision, and others like it, are now being judged in the court of “woke” political correctness, viewed through the destructive lens of cancel culture that often leaves the truth out to dry.
Instead of defending our officers in uniform, the growing chorus of anti-police sentiment and incendiary rhetoric is coming from some of our nation’s most prominent leaders on the left.
Over the summer, while violent rioters burned cities to the ground, now-Vice President Harris bailed out Minnesota criminals. Recently, Congresswoman Maxine Waters urged protesters to “get more confrontational” in the streets. LeBron James shamefully targeted the brave officer in Columbus with a thinly-veiled twitter threat, while Ohio’s own Sherrod Brown sent an irresponsible tweet that spread a false narrative.
The Biden White House even tried to paint the tragic Columbus incident as part of overall “police violence” and “systemic racism” – again, in spite of the facts and ignoring that the officer saved a young Black woman’s life.
While there is always room for reform, defunding the police only opens the door to more violence in our communities, often leaving the most vulnerable helpless. If we’ve learned anything from the riots and chaos we’ve seen over the past year, it’s that less police presence means an increase in crime and more violence.
Just look at Minneapolis, Seattle, Portland, New York or Los Angeles.
We cannot listen to the lefts’ radical calls for defunding or abolishing the police. Defunding the police will not prevent tragic crimes from occurring: it will only lead to longer response times and less help for people in need of emergency services.
Republicans support common-sense solutions to police reform such as more training, better equipment like bodycams, and enhanced transparency – none of which would be possible without proper funding. Republicans tried to pass Sen. Tim Scott’s legislation that focused on these issues, but Democrats shamefully filibustered – a practice they now hypocritically decry as “racist.”
We must stop this reckless rhetoric and end calls for defunding the police.
While we should always root out bad apples and hold those accountable who break the law or misuse force, we cannot paint police officers with a broad and destructive brush.
How can we expect the best and brightest in uniform if as a society, we undermine police officers and erode public trust? How can we expect to have the next generation of police officers, if they think their own communities don’t support them?
The silent majority must stand up in support of our men and women in blue. Police officers have our backs, and we must also have theirs. I am forever grateful to our police officers, and will always “Back the Blue.”
Jane Timken is a candidate for the United States Senate. She was formerly the chair of the Ohio Republican Party.