Students weigh in on elected official’s response to defund police

July 8, 2020 /

The idea to defund the police has spread across the nation after the death of George Floyd, and many elected officials have weighed in on the idea. 

“If we have better performance, better transparency, and better accountability we will have a much better solution to this problem,” said Congressman Kevin McMarthy.

In a live interview with KGET news, he said, “[Defunding the police] is the biggest mistake you could ever do.” 

McMarthy believes that defunding the police would “perpetuate the problem more.”

His viewpoint is not shared with other congressional leaders. He stated, “This movement of defunding the police through the Democratic party is stronger than impeachment ever was [or] Medicare for All.” 

In the interview with Fox&Friends McCarthy proposed that officials should actually allocate more funding to the police department for greater training. He also highlighted that the police department must have better accountability and transparency in the misconduct of police officers. By doing so, he explains that “One percent of bad apples [in law enforcement]” would be removed.”

The City of Bakersfield approved last month to allocate more funds to the Bakersfield Police Department.  

Kern Sol News wanted to see how youth view the idea to defund the police. Here’s what they had to say:

“Congressman Kevin McCarthy’s response towards the idea of defunding the police that has been incorporated as a goal with the Black Lives Matter Movement has been proven as a failure for combating crime and training police officers to “be better.” Police reform is putting a bandage on the problem, and a solution is never an outcome with trying to “change the old system.” He has never attempted to address the problems residents in Kern County face in the first place, as you can clearly see with Robert Forbes’ death ignored. This leaves them vulnerable to the Bakersfield Police Department and the Kern County Sheriff’s Department who have complete control, resulting in these two police departments that are some of the most dangerous police departments in the nation. With funding the police more than before, education and health services will become obsolete, making Bakersfield and other parts of Kern County to continue having the worst education systems and highest STD/pregnancy rates in the nation as shown in the past years. Instead of changing the old system, in this case the justice system, we must get rid of it and make people the top priority with the Black community first.”

— Sara Estrada Cooper, 19

“My opinion on Kevin McCarthy’s point of view’s statement is to go against his belief due to his narrow minded view that the BPD payroll should be increased for more training and better understanding on what should be done properly. This situation with George Floyd will not be the last time that it will happen even with proper training with any police department. An increase in funding will not do any justice to any family that will be affected in the near future.”

— JJ, Cal State Bakersfield

“I don’t think McCarthy is listening to his younger constituents. I don’t think he cares about his younger voters or younger citizens that live in Bakersfield. He knows 2,000 plus people have written emails about defunding the police, yet he thinks they should receive more funding. I don’t support his statements whatsoever. He believes that we should continue funding police departments as well as increasing the funding. There seems to be a disconnect because there’s been several petitions calling for defunding of police departments as well as countless emails asking for it, which he ignores. And what about all over the country where police are violating people’s rights by inciting riots at peaceful protests? They have proven that they are above the rule of law.”

— Caleb