WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump is “appalled” by calls for police to be defunded and is looking at a number of proposals in response to the death of a black man in police custody in Minneapolis that has sparked nationwide protests, the White House said on Monday.
“The president is appalled by the defund the police movement,” White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany told a media briefing. She said Trump is “taking a look at various” proposals in response to George Floyd’s death, but she offered no specifics as to what measures he was considering.
Demonstrators’ anger over the May 25 death of George Floyd, 46, is giving way to a growing movement to make his case a turning point in race relations and policing, with some protesters calling for police budgets to be slashed.
But the proposal has received mixed reviews from some Democrats, with Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey running a gauntlet of jeering protesters over the weekend after telling them he opposed their demands for defunding the city’s police department.
Trump has drawn fire for calling on state governors to crack down on the thousands protesting Floyd’s death around the country and threatening to send in the U.S. military even as he described himself as an ally to peaceful protesters.
McEnany said on Monday that Trump believes there are some “instances” of racism among police but added that the president sees the police as by and large good people.
On Monday, Democrats in Congress unveiled legislation that would make lynching a hate crime and allow victims of misconduct and their families to sue police for damages in civil court, ending a legal doctrine known as qualified immunity.
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