20200220-bc-trump

House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy introduces the President, who visited Bakersfield Feb. 19 to sign his administration's reworking of environmental regulations that will direct more of the state's water to farmers and other agriculture interests in the Central Valley.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy on Wednesday rejected calls to "defund" U.S. law enforcement agencies in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, the man whose death at the hands of Minneapolis police has reinvigorated the Black Lives Matter movement at the center of nationwide protests.

The House Republican leader said police departments need more money to improve officer training and transparency, not less, even as he continued to express support for peaceful protesters set on building "that more perfect union."

In comments to Fox News and at a House Judiciary Committee hearing, the Bakersfield congressman focused attention on the death of Dave Patrick Underwood, a federal officer shot and killed last month while protecting a federal courthouse in Oakland.

"We pray that justice comes swiftly and completely" to Floyd as well as Underwood, he said. McCarthy noted his friendship with the officer's sister, Angela Underwood-Jacobs, a former Lancaster city councilwoman and Republican congressional candidate who also spoke at the hearing.

Putting a political spin on the matter, McCarthy said some Democrats' efforts to cut funding for law enforcement had grown stronger than their calls to impeach President Donald Trump or institute a "Medicare for all" system of nationalized health care. He warned reducing taxpayer support for police would "only perpetuate the problem" of brutality by law enforcement officers.

McCarthy's comments were his latest public attempts to strike a balance between respect for peaceful protesters with support for police officers.

At least seven times since late May he's posted messages on social media addressing civil unrest in the wake of Floyd's death.

McCarthy tweeted May 29 that the nation can honor Floyd's memory by "healing our broken communities" and mending racial divides. But he said ripping apart cities and the country "only deepens the wound."

Two days later he told Fox News that destructive protests increase people's fears and the only appropriate catalyst for change is nonviolent action as demonstrated by the late civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

Two days after that he retweeted an ABC News report that a Minneapolis police officer had been charged with murder in Floyd's death. "About time," McCarthy wrote. "Should have happened the day George Floyd was killed."

While calling for an end to racial discrimination, the Republican leader has also repeatedly insisted that looters and anarchists who have tainted recent street protests "deserve consequences."

In a June 4 tweet he called for adhering to the rule of law and coming together as a nation.

"Don't look for some law that's going to solve all this. It's a responsibility of all of us," he said. "If we see something being discriminated (against), stand up. You see somebody looting, stop them."

Tweeting again Monday, McCarthy thanked police officers across the country for upholding their oaths. He promised Republicans would oppose Democratic politicians' efforts to reduce police funding, saying his party "will never turn our backs on you."

A day later, he tweeted support for protesters' ability to protest "so this doesn't happen again."

"We also believe that we don't judge people by the color of their skin or the uniform that they wear," he added.

Bakersfield activist Arleana Waller, who's helped organize recent talks between city residents and local law enforcement agencies on the issue of in-custody deaths, said Wednesday she disagrees with moves to cut police funding. But she asserted some taxpayer money should be set aside to create citizens’ groups that would advise top police officials.

Editor's note: The story has been revised to correct the spelling of Arleana Waller's last name.

“We need the police to protect us,” she said. “We need to understand the dynamics. They work for us. But we have to be involved in this process.”

Follow John Cox on Twitter: @TheThirdGraf.

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(18) comments

Masked 2020

Speaking of Donald....... have you watched Randy Rainbow's spot on Video of Bunker Boy on YouTube...... life is good........

Zeppo

Masked2020: Speaking of Biden......……………..go look up the definition of "dementia."

Boris25

Just a thought, why stop at pulling down statues, removing them from the halls of Congress and renaming military bases because those individuals owned slaves 160-250 years ago? We need to tear up the Declaration of Independence, almost all of the signers owned slaves.

Zeppo

Boris25: …….and let's start arresting anyone who has ever used the "n" word, or thought thoughts that we didn't approve of...…..or who we didn't like the looks of.....

Lamonster

How long before they realize that George Washington does not deserve to have a namesake state?

Zeppo

jayinbaker: The reason Trump will be reelected is because he is the only sane person running. The Democrats have lost their minds with supporting BLM, open borders, Green New Deal, pulling down statues, ignoring our history, burning down businesses, telling us we can only use certain approved words, removing all books written by whites. If you don't see this as insanity, you are a lost cause.

Lamonster

The on-going game plan: It's easier to win if you can eliminate your tough opponent before the game starts. The anarchists understand that a weakened, if not totally removed. police authority will allow them to take the country in the same way they've captured the Democrat Party.

Masked 2020

Vote Blue from Sleepy Joe on Down on the November Ballot and get real justice that “comes swiftly and completely” for George Floyd not this “faux News justice” Kevin is “praying” about……take about shameless pandering……Kevin needs to go reopen his deli…..this is just beyond normal……..

Gene Pool Chlorinator

Shameless pandering Yorkies? Like the Dems who all took a knee while wearing traditional African garb, that most couldn't even tell you one thing about?

It was funny seeing Aunt Nancy reaching out for help to get back up- when you pander, it's not always a pretty sight...

Masked 2020

you tell me Chlorinator...... count the one hand.....the number of Republican Afro-Americans in Congress since the 1940s.......oh look.... you have six fingers on that hand

Gene Pool Chlorinator

And you tell me Yorkies, what was the party of Segregation?

And what exactly, has that party done to help African Americans over the past few decades.

And while you Google your response, look up Margaret Sanger and edify yourself...

Zeppo

Veritas: I heard today that some people can now take revenge on people in their neighborhood that they dislike, so if there are no cops, chaos ensues, and you are correct that there will be a big uptick in shootings, etc.

Zeppo

Reefranger: If you look at FBI statistics you will see that far more unarmed whites have been killed than unarmed blacks.

Gene Pool Chlorinator

Correct Zeppo- last year (according to the Washington Post's database of police shootings), there was a 2:1 ratio in that category...

Ledzepplin4800

That’s cause Kevin is just as stupid as Trump

ReefRanger

Congressman McCarthy is right. And so is Ms. Arleana Walker. If the police have a citizens group committed to working WITH them, they will be better informed and prepared to deal with officers who are a problem. The other thing that needs to happen is that police unions, who often wield a lot of power in quashing complaints against rogue officers, need to be audited by citizen boards. Don't get me wrong, I am very pro-police. Worked in law enforcement for several years. But I hate to see what has happened in recent years with all of these unnecessary deaths of black men and women. It is a sad comment on the state of race/police relations in this country.

Zeppo

The police should be shown respect, not spit on, cursed at, etc. Get rid of the bad ones, which are few, and applaud the good ones, which are the majority. How would you like to have a job where you were in fear or your life constantly? They need MORE funding, not less!

RubySue

Thank you Kevin. You always come through for us. God Bless America.

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