The committee was discussing the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, legislation that seeks to address the surge in hate crimes against Asian Americans. Demings was criticizing an amendment introduced by Republicans that would prevent the defunding of police departments, even though the legislation does not have any provision to strip funds from law enforcement.

“I served as a law enforcement officer for 27 years,” she said. “It is a tough job, and good police officers deserve your support. You know, it’s interesting to see my colleagues on the other side of the aisle support the police when it is politically convenient to do so. Law enforcement officers risk their lives every day. They deserve better.”

“Defund the police” became one of the rallying cries of that movement. Its proponents seek to divert funding from police departments and instead boost areas, such as education, health care and social services, that can help prevent crime and intervene in situations better handled without law enforcement.

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