Barack Obama Defends 'Defund The Police' Critiques

During a recent interview with renowned comedian Trevor Noah, former President Barack Obama took time to revisit his comments about the "Defund The Police" movement. Earlier this month, the former President was met with criticism when he described the slogan as "snappy."

"If you believe, as I do, that we should be able to reform the criminal justice system so that it's not biased and treats everybody fairly, I guess you can use a snappy slogan, like Defund the Police, but, you know, you lost a big audience the minute you say it," he said.

"If you instead say, 'Hey, you know what Let's reform the police department so that everybody's being treated fairly,' suddenly a whole bunch of folks who might not otherwise listen to you are listening to you."

Immediately after his interview wrapped up, many voters, politicians and writers alike took issue with his comments. Leading the way, Reps. Cori Bush and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez issued statements on social media. Jumping in, Rep. Ilhan Omar stated that "Defund The Police" is more of a policy demand than a slogan.

"We lose people in the hands of police. It’s not a slogan but a policy demand. Centering the demand for equitable investments and budgets for communities across the country gets us progress and safety," Omar tweeted.

After a week of hearing feedback on his comments, Obama decided to standby his initial remarks. He implied that his statements were not taken in the manner in which he intended them to be. Also, he noted that he does not agree with the sentiment that the "Defund The Police" policy demand cost Democrats seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“There were two or three writers who I admire, who wrote, ‘Obama's making it a mission to chastise Black Lives Matter," Obama said.

“What? Hold on a second, I just spent the whole summer complimenting them. What are you talking about? The reason it caught attention, I suspect, there were some in the Democratic party who suggested the reason we didn't do better in the congressional elections this time was because of this praise. I think that people assumed that somehow I was making an argument that that's why we didn't get a bigger Democratic majority -- that actually was not the point I was making.”

Regardless of the back and forth, the "Defund The Police" movement continues to gain steam with the passing of Measure J in Los Angeles and police budget cuts in Seattle. Additional reports also suggest that the policy demand is driving voters to the polls in Philadelphia, Detroit, Milwaukee and several other cities.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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