‘The American people don’t have any trouble rejecting terrible racism and discrimination and rejecting lawlessness, violence, and anti-police prejudice with equal clarity and equal force. They deserve leaders who can do likewise.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks Tuesday on the Senate floor regarding law enforcement:
“For months now, it has been clear to basically every reasonable American that our country can and must hold two sets of true statements in our minds at the same time.
“Number one: Our country has unfinished work to ensure that policing is fair to everyone and that Black Americans do not feel unfairly treated or targeted by law enforcement.
“And number two: The vast majority of law enforcement officers are heroes. And the toxicity, anger, and actual violence that far-left mobs have inflicted on policemen and women across our country is beyond the pale.
“The American people want racial justice and we want good, strong policing to ensure equal protection of the laws. We understand there is no contradiction here.
“Most people are outraged by the killings of black Americans that have shocked our nation.
“Sunday marked six months since the death of Breonna Taylor in my hometown of Louisville. Kentuckians want answers. Our nation wants answers.
“But most Americans also feel sick when we hear about events like what happened last weekend in Los Angeles.
“Two sheriff’s deputies were ambushed and shot while they sat in their patrol car in Compton. And then far-left protestors tried to literally block an entrance to the hospital, chanting things like ‘kill the police’ and ‘I hope they [effing] die.’
“Fortunately, both deputies are out of surgery. But the hateful climate that creates these acts is still with us. And one of our two political parties should do more to repudiate this underlying climate on their side.
“To be clear: Democratic leaders, including former Vice President Biden and our colleague the junior Senator for California, spoke up quickly to condemn the actual shootings of these officers themselves. That was absolutely the right thing to do. No question.
“But what about the underlying climate?
“For months, the political left in this country has put all its might behind a false narrative that says disorder is acceptable, riots are free speech, and law enforcement is the real enemy of certain communities.
“One prominent national newspaper, which found a straightforward op-ed from our colleague Senator Cotton to be more than they could bear, had no problem publishing a submission entitled, ‘Yes, We Mean Literally Abolish the Police.’
“When the Speaker of the House was asked to respond to rioters illegally toppling statues across the country, she blithely responded, quote, ‘people will do what they do.’
“And from one liberal big city to another, we have seen mayors and local leaders who apparently find it easier to propose cutting police funding and criticize their men and women in uniform than to denounce out-of-control riots in their own cities.
“Just yesterday, yesterday, with this Los Angeles story making headlines nationwide, the junior Senator for Massachusetts decided to criticize police officers on his Twitter feed and proposed a nationwide ban on non-lethal measures like tear gas and rubber bullets.
“We are now at the point where some of our Democratic colleagues survey the nation, survey the way law enforcement officers are being treated, and decide the answer is to keep rhetorically throwing cops under the bus -- and try to ban their non-lethal means of self-defense while they’re at it.
“The American people don’t have any trouble rejecting terrible racism and discrimination and rejecting lawlessness, violence, and anti-police prejudice with equal clarity and equal force.
“They deserve leaders who can do likewise.”