Washington, D.C.’s city council in the summer of 2020 voted to slash millions from the police budget. Now, as homicides surge in the nation’s capital, liberal council members want more cops. 

After D.C. saw 13 homicides in just the first five days of August, left-wing council members Brianne Nadeau and Phil Mendelson touted their efforts to secure more resources for police, with Nadeau especially stressing the city’s “hot spots.” Those efforts mark a stark turnaround for the council members, both of whom voted to cut $15 million from the city’s police budget at the height of the Black Lives Matter movement in the summer of 2020. Nadeau at the time endorsed “calls to defund MPD” and “get police out of schools,” while Mendelson praised a 2021 police reform report that lamented D.C.’s “harmful over-reliance on policing and incarceration” and called for a “realignment and reduction of MPD’s size, responsibilities, and budget.”

Nadeau and Mendelson’s sudden support for additional policing reflects the political toxicity of the “defund the police” movement, which swept liberal cities following George Floyd’s death but has since prompted backlash. City officials in New York and Los Angeles, for example, cut funding for police in 2020 only to restore law enforcement budgets a year later, citing spikes in violent crime.

D.C. Police Union chairman Gregg Pemberton said the council’s “flip-flop” reflects an effort to avoid blame “regarding exponential increases in violent crime.”

—Alec Schemmel in DC’s City Council Slashed Police Funding. Now, Its Members Want More Cops as Shootings Plague City.

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