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Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that the Minneapolis City Council's decision to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department as it currently exists does not mean that nothing will take its place to ensure the community is kept safe and crimes are investigated.

Why it matters: Critics of the idea of defunding or abolishing police departments, including President Trump, have characterized the move as radical and dangerous. Omar argues that coverage of Minneapolis' decision has been misleading, and that the city's policing infrastructure must be reinvented "because you can't really reform a department that is rotten to the root."

What she's saying:

"A new way forward can't be put in place if we have a department that is having a crisis of credibility, if we have a department that's led by a chief who's suited for racism, if we have a department that hasn't solved homicide — half of the homicides in Minneapolis police department go unsolved. There have been cases where they've destroyed rape kits. And so you can't really reform a department that is rotten to the root. What you can do is rebuild.
And so this is our opportunity, as a city, to come together, have the conversation of what public safety looks like, who enforces the most dangerous crimes that take place in our community, and just like San Francisco did — right now, they're moving towards a process where there is a separation of the kind of crimes that solicit the help of, you know, officers, and the kind of crimes that we should have someone else respond to."

The big picture: Prominent Democrats, including Joe Biden and House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.), have voiced their opposition to the "defund the police" movement, which has largely been pushed by activists and progressives like Omar. Biden's presidential platform has even called for $300 million more for community policing.

  • Omar dismissed this idea "ludicrous" and said it rejects the calls of the protesters who have taken to the streets over the past few weeks.
  • "If you had a company that wasn't producing, you wouldn't just pour more money into it so that it would produce," Omar said. "You would step back and say, let's look at what works, what doesn't work, and how do we move forward."

Go deeper: Stacey Abrams says debate over defunding police is creating a "false choice"

Go deeper

Harris rebukes Barr: "We do have two systems of justice in America"

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) pushed back on Attorney General Bill Barr's assertion on CNN that there are not two systems of justice in America, arguing that he and President Trump "are spending full time in a different reality."

Why it matters: The question of whether there is "systemic racism" in policing and criminal justice is a clear, dividing line between Democrats and the Trump administration.

Judge nixes Gulf of Mexico oil leases in climate-focused ruling

Tug boats prepare to tow the semi-submersible drilling platform Noble Danny Adkins through the Port Aransas Channel into the Gulf of Mexico on December 12, 2020 in Port Aransas, Texas. Photo: Tom Pennington/Getty Images

A federal judge on Thursday canceled the Biden administration's late 2021 sale of new oil-and-gas drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico.

Why it matters: The ruling that the greenhouse gas emissions analysis by the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) was insufficient is a win for green groups that challenged the decision, as they seek to curb fossil fuel production.

45 million Americans under winter storm watches near New England

Computer model projection showing the winds moving around the powerful East Coast storm on Saturday Jan. 29, 2022. Credit: https://earth.nullschool.net

Nearly 45 million Americans are under winter weather alerts and warnings from North Carolina to northeastern Maine Thursday night, as a major winter storm threatens the region.

Why it matters: It is predicted to be the biggest blizzard since 2018 to strike the Northeast with more than 2 feet of snow possible in parts of eastern Massachusetts, according to the National Weather Service.