“I got a text from my mom this morning. She still lives in Brooklyn, New York. Hi, Mom. And she said point-blank, son, you were right last summer: Defunding the police is only going to hurt the inner city. It’s only going to hurt Black and brown families because they are the ones who call the police when something goes wrong,” Donalds told “America’s Newsroom.”
Donalds recalled his experience as “a young kid in New York City” and what his mother would do when they were in danger.
“If something happened, my mom called the police. She didn’t call activists. She didn’t call politicians. She called the people that were there to protect and serve. And you saw the bigger cities who are trying to reverse course right now because they’ve seen a disaster when crime increases, because you have less officers on the street following this radical idea of defunding the police,” Donalds said.
Grappling with a shortage of officers and increased crime, Minneapolis is seeking federal and state resources after the latest bout of violence in the city included a mass shooting that left a college student dead hours before his graduation Saturday.
Amid the increased violence in the city where George Floyd was killed nearly one year ago, officials also announced a $30,000 reward this weekend in the hunt for suspects responsible for the separate shootings of three children over the past several weeks, including one 9-year-old girl killed by stray gunfire while jumping on a backyard trampoline.
During the early Saturday mass shooting, two people were killed and another eight wounded after gunshots rang out just before 2 a.m. outside in the 300 block of N 1st Ave. Investigators say two men got into an argument and began firing amid a crowd gathered on the sidewalk near Monarch nightclub.
Nearly 200 Minneapolis police officers have left the force in the wake of the death of Floyd, with many filing post-traumatic stress claims due to the civil unrest that followed. Minneapolis has seen at least 31 homicides this year, not including this weekend’s violence.
There is a silver lining in the push to defund the police, according to the lawmaker. While activists and politicians push to defund the police, Donalds said that he supports some police reform efforts. He said that the push to defund the police has “brought to the fore” reforms that “actually should happen.”
“Some of the reforms I support is actually getting more data on no-knock warrants. I do support that. I don’t support banning them because you have to understand the implications of why officers use it.”
He went on to say that he believes there are issues that a lot of Americans would agree on, such as enhanced use-of-force training for officers and increased “psychological training and evaluations” for officers due to the daily stress of the job.
Fox News’ Danielle Wallace contributed to this report