CHICAGO – On the 83rd day of his 100-day rooftop vigil to build a community center designed to provide opportunities to his community, Pastor Corey Brooks wished to share his thoughts on BLM, Democrats, and “Defund the Police.”
What follows has been lightly edited. We strongly encourage you to watch the accompanying video so you may hear the pastor in his own words.
I can remember when I first heard the phrase “defund the police.”
America was reeling after the death of George Floyd. How could a crimeofficer put his knee on the neck of a man for so long, a man who was handcuffed and subdued by three other officers? I’ve seen a lot of deaths in my neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago, but even this one took the breath out of me.
I can understand how many Americans felt the need to want to do something. They wanted to separate themselves from that horror. They wanted to believe that they were better than what they saw on the video clip. And when Black Lives Matter threw out “defund the police” as the solution, many of these Americans grabbed onto it and donated millions upon millions of dollars.
But when I heard defund the police, I heard it differently than many Americans outside of our community. I feared that these Americans, in their rush to separate themselves from the death of George Floyd, were actually creating more horror.
My neighborhood is violent. I’m not going to sugar coat it. The police do everything they can to keep us safe here. And that’s why when Black Lives Matter tore up our community and tore up other parts of Chicago. I went out with a group of people to clean up the mess. I wanted to send a message to the police, and I wanted them to know that they mattered, that they had not been abandoned, that people still had their back. And we wanted them to still have our back because we in this community know the truth: no police equals more carnage.
But Black Lives Matter and the elections refused to listen. They kept chanting, “defund the police, defund the police,” including those in our leadership in our city. Bodies kept piling up and they didn’t care. They cared more about politics than lives. Absolutely outrageous. My community paid the price, not them.
And this happened all over America. Look at Baltimore, 36 homicides in Baltimore, in the dead cold of winter, and in 2022. Let that sink in. We claim to be such good people. And Baltimore had its deadliest January in 50 years. I was barely even a baby back then.
Now these Democrats have had the bitter taste of reality. Now they want you fund the police. Are you freaking kidding me? They chanted Black Lives Matter as they defunded the police. But how can these lives matter to them if they’re opening the gateway to murder? Again, it was about politics, not lives. Now that they have had their bitter taste of reality, they want to refund the police. And again, I say it has nothing to do with lives but politics. They’re only changing their minds to save their political career careers.
I buried some of these folks who, who would’ve been alive if it were not for this “defund the police” nonsense. These people will never come back. We will never know what they could have contributed to our America. We will never know their [full] potential.
And there’s the hard, cold truth. These Black Lives Matter folks and these Democrats, they never came to one of these funerals. They don’t care.
Now, I’m going to say this: America was fooled the first time around. We better not be fooled the second time. So vote these people out. The people who have the blood of innocence on their hands, vote them out. Their actions caused these deaths, and they are unfit to lead. So vote them out. That’s all I have to say on this matter.
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Eli Steele is a documentary filmmaker and writer. His latest film is “What Killed Michael Brown?” Twitter: @Hebro_Steele.
Camera by Terrell Allen.