Cheri Beasley wants to fund the police
Standing with former and current law enforcement officers on Monday, Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Cheri Beasley said she doesn't support defunding the police and vowed to work with Republicans on public safety legislation, AP's Hannah Schoenbaum reports.
Why it matters: Beasley is part of a slew of Democrats who have distanced themselves from the "defund the police" movement, which came about after George Floyd's death in 2020.
- Beasley's promise to work across the aisle is a sign that she wants to appeal to more moderate voters with just a little more than two months until the November election.
- Her stance comes as crime rates have risen in cities across the country.
"I do not support defund the police," Beasley said at the campaign event, highlighting her law enforcement-related legislative priorities. "We've got to be more realistic about the kinds of issues that they're dealing with in our communities."
The big picture: The race to replace retiring Republican U.S. Sen. Richard Burr is one of the most competitive in the country, as Democrats have a razor-thin majority in the chamber. If Beasley beats her Republican opponent, U.S. Rep. Ted Budd, in November, Democrats will be one seat closer to holding onto their majority in the Senate.
Flashback: As chief justice of the state Supreme Court, Beasley spoke out in the days after George Floyd's death in the summer of 2020, saying that disparities and injustices within the criminal justice system continue to plague Black communities.
- "While we rely on our political leaders to institute those necessary changes, we must also acknowledge the distinct role that our courts play," Beasley said at the time. "As chief justice, it is my responsibility to take ownership of the way our courts administer justice and acknowledge that we must do better."
- She also called on leaders to hear the message of protesters.
Worth noting: Beasley has already faced criticism in ads for allegedly failing to protect victims during her time as chief justice.
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