Truth Be Told: Breaking down a controversial 'Defund the Police' ad against Joe Biden

Biden to deliver remarks on US economy
Posted at 3:09 PM, Sep 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-10 09:50:36-04

A new series at TMJ4 will be looking at the truth behind political advertisements.

An advertisement paid for by President Donald Trump's campaign claims that Democratic nominee Joe Biden wants to defund the police.

The advertisement uses a clip from an interview Biden did with Now This News. Biden was speaking about redirecting police funds used to purchase military surplus supplies. The interviewer asks him if those funds can be directed, and he responds, "Yes, absolutely."

Police reform is an important topic in the presidential race, and here in Wisconsin.

In Milwaukee, city leaders are considering a 10 percent reduction in the police department's budget, moving those funds to the health department and organizations designed to help deescalate high-risk situations.

"Contributing into the areas that are able to really build a community that contributes to violence prevention," said Jamaal Smith with the Office of Violence Prevention. "That is what is needed within this city and across the board in order to truly change the trajectory of places like Milwaukee."

Smith says the defund the police movement is less about taking money away from police, but more about investing in other services.

Truth Be Told: Breaking down a controversial 'Defund the Police' ad against Joe Biden

"When we talk about defund police and immediately it comes up about that means that people don't want you to be safe," Smith said. "Well, newsflash. There are people there are police that are in neighborhoods and many residents still don't feel safe."

Wisconsin Professional Police Association Executive Director Jim Palmer says that the model is worth discussing, but there has to be a solution to handle those cases currently done by police.

"I think that model is worthy of exploration but I think it has to be a very deliberate process," Palmer said. "I don't think it's the case today that the city of Milwaukee for example can impose a 10 or 15 percent reduction in law enforcement spending and automatically have these ancillary programs and services in mental health services to fill the gap."

Palmer says the WPPA's research shows communities are in favor of community-oriented policing, meaning more time for officers to engage in their community and become familiar with residents.

"It is particularly significant, in fact, larger, amongst communities of color," Palmer said.

On his campaign website, Biden says he will make $300 million available to local departments for community-oriented policing, adding that officers in the department would have to "mirror the racial diversity of the community they serve" in order for the department to get the money.

As for defunding the police, Biden said in an op-ed that he does not support defunding the police.

Tune in to the report tonight on TMJ4 News at 6 p.m.

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