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Rep. Cori Bush Stands Behind 'Defund the Police' Slogan

Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) says she's not going to stop using the slogan "defund the police" ahead of this fall's midterms — even though some of her colleagues made that request, Axios reports. Progressives — and that slogan specifically — were blamed for Democratic losses in 2020. The 2022 midterms are even more challenging, yet Bush said told Black reporters that she's sticking to her activist roots. Bush acknowledged her party needs to do a better job of explaining exactly what it means with its call to shift some law enforcement monies to preemptive social services. " 'Defund the police' is not the problem," she added. "We dangled the carrot in front of people’s faces and said we can get it done and that Democrats deliver, when we haven’t totally delivered."

Progressives are viewed by moderates as a thorn in the side of the larger party, and Democrats are already staring at a difficult election cycle. The last thing the party needs is internal division about a slogan Republicans love to use against it. "I’ve had colleagues walk up to me" and say that "defund the police" doesn't help in their districts. Bush said she won't alter her stance until there's meaningful reform. She said that should focus on ending the mechanisms by which police have killed Black people, including chokeholds and no-knock warrants.

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