22:16 GMT05 August 2021
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    Republicans have repeatedly warned against defunding the police, claiming that law enforcement officers are essential and should continue to be funded by the government.

    Republican Senator Ted Cruz has scoffed at the Democrats’ "absurd" drive to uphold an argument claiming that Republicans deprived police and law enforcement agencies of funding amid increasing crime rates across the US.

    “I gotta say, it’s remarkable that the White House is now apparently employing comedians. You know, there’s an old Yiddish word for that: chutzpah”, Cruz told Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Tuesday night.

    He argued that for the Democrats, “to come out and claim that it’s Republicans who want to defund the police, that’s like an arsonist showing up at the fire and blaming the firemen”.  

    “That’s like the Chinese blaming the Americans for the Wuhan virus. That’s like OJ [Simpson] saying he’s gonna help find the real killer”, the senator added, in an apparent reference to COVID-19 and Washington’s claims that the virus came from a lab at China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology.

    As for ex-NFL football star and actor OJ Simpson, he is notorious for being acquitted of the murders of his ex-wife and her friend following a high-profile 1995 criminal trial, dubbed the “Trial of the Century”.

    Cruz’s remarks came a few days after White House adviser Cedric Richmond accused congressional Republicans of trying to “defund the police” by opposing a $1.9 trillion coronavirus aid package known as the American Rescue Plan.

    Last week, President Joe Biden authorised the use of $350 billion in relief aid by cities and states after the government began to distribute the hefty sum to strengthen their police forces.

    The idea of defunding or dismantling law enforcement agencies was voiced by protesters during unrest over racism and police brutality that was triggered by the death of George Floyd during his arrest by Minneapolis police officers on 25 May 2020.

    The push was actually supported by local Democrat authorities, with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti pledging to divert funding for the police to social service programmes.

    At the height of the protests, then-President Donald Trump repeatedly slammed the idea of defunding American law enforcement, calling on local governments to instead get riots under control and re-establish law and order in the country.

    Related:

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    Floyd Protests: Time is Ripe to Reform US Police But Defunding is a Crazy Idea, Criminal Experts Say
    US Police Violated Rights of Protesters, Journos 125 Times in Wake of George Floyd’s Death - Report
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