Squad Rep. Pressley says she still supports a 'radical re-imagining' of policing amid crime surge

Police officers are retiring in droves after progressive politicians push ‘defund the police’ agenda

Sgt. Betsy Brantner Smith, Spokeswoman for the National Police Association, Chief David Zack, Asheville Police Department, James Craig, former Detroit Police Chief

Squad” member Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., said she still supports a “radical re-imagining” of law enforcement as crimes surge across America, including anti-police attacks.

The Massachusetts Democrat was asked in a Wednesday interview about the recent spike in crime around the nation and the role played by the defund the police movement.

Pressley stood by her support of the movement in the interview, saying she supports a “radical re-imagining” of police work by redirecting funding away from the policing and prison systems.

“I support a radical re-imagining of community safety and public safety, which means reallocating and not further investing in a carceral state,” the congresswoman said.

“Especially, Don, when we have not yet ended qualified immunity,” she added in her response to CNN’s Don Lemon.

Qualified immunity is a protection that shields government officials of all stripes from being personally sued for violating somebody’s rights in the course of reasonably doing their jobs, unless the breached rights are “clearly established in the law.” In practice, this often means that police officers who go well beyond their authority in handling an incident cannot be held civilly liable for their actions. 

Police officers have recently been directly targeted by criminals in ambush-style attacks. The National Fraternal Order of Police says the defund the police movement is a factor in the uptick in crime.

Pressley’s interview also came the same day as President Biden’s address on how his administration plans to tackle the rise in crime nationwide.

On Wednesday, Biden announced a new “zero tolerance” policy for gun dealers who willfully violate the law, as part of the administration’s strategy to combat what the Department of Justice calls a “staggering” surge in violent crime.

Biden’s plan pledged a crackdown on “rogue” gun dealers, but it is unlikely to put a dent in gun crime because only a tiny minority of crimes are committed with weapons bought from licensed dealers, according to federal statistics and studies on the subject. 

Pressley’s office did not respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

Fox News’ Tyler Olson, Peter Hasson and Kelly Laco contributed to this report.

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