Although many far-left lawmakers have spoken out in favor of defunding the nation’s law enforcement agencies, reports indicate that they are generally not opposed to spending big bucks on personal security services that ordinary Americans could not afford.
Since the “defund the police” movement’s roots in the wake of George Floyd’s death in 2020, the six leftist legislators commonly known as “the Squad” have reportedly spent in excess of $1 million on such private protection.
The 'Squad' Has Spent Over $1 Million on Private Security While Pushing To Defund the Police https://t.co/akm5ZLMRX2
— Senator John Cornyn (@JohnCornyn) April 21, 2023
Rep Cori Bush (D-MO) spent by far the most amount of any member, with about $680,000 going toward security since May 2020. Of course, the recipients of these payments have also drawn some scrutiny.
Among those who are supposedly acting as her personal security guards are her husband, Cortney Merrits, and a close friend, Nathaniel Davis III.
Nevertheless, Bush has repeatedly defended the costly services — including in a 2021 interview just moments after she reiterated her belief that American citizens did not deserve the protection that police officers can provide.
“Defunding the police has to happen,” she said at the time before being confronted with a question about her own private security detail.
“You would rather me die?” the Missouri Democrat asked in defending the expense. “Is that what you want to see? You want to see me die? You know, because that could be the alternative.”
Although her total was less than one-third of Bush’s, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) was second on the list of Squad members who spent the most on security. While she clearly has no qualms about spending nearly $200,000 on private protection over the past three years, she recently criticized Democratic New York City Mayor Eric Adams for giving rookie police officers their first raise in seven years.
In an interview on the topic of police pay, she claimed that the officers who now make a base salary of $55,000 per year to confront criminals and step into harm’s way each day are massively overpaid.
“We are now at a point where officially, most officers are paid more than a teacher with a master’s degree serving these same kids involved in these same incidents,” she said. “When we are taking all of those resources and demanding that every single department — except the militarized one — be cut, we are sending a message about who and what we care about.”
The other four members each spent less than $100,000 each on security, with the only man — Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) — coming in last at a total of $7,900.