Some Democratic lawmakers are pledging to reject campaign contributions made by law enforcement unions and put the money they have already received toward bail-out funds or those benefiting communities of color.
California State Sen. Scott Wiener announced Thursday he would be joining some fellow elected officials in both opting not to accept law enforcement union-affiliated donations and would be contributing the money he had already received to San Francisco and Daly City organizations.
“Our policing/criminal justice system is broken & needs drastic change,” wrote Wiener, a Democrat. “I want to be very clear about where I stand in this fight.”
“I’ve spent my time in the Senate fighting to change our broken criminal justice system, focusing on decarceration,” he added. “This system kills/harms countless people, [especially] people of color. We need to do more & I‘m committed to this fight.”
Weiner told Fox News on Thursday he plans to donate $20,000 in contributions he got from a half-dozen law enforcement unions.
The choice to reject the funds came as protests flare throughout the nation in response to the May 25 death of Minnesota man George Floyd. Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee on his neck. The police officer, Derek Chauvin, and three others have since been charged.
Protests against police brutality have continued for more than a week as the death of Floyd highlighted already high racial tensions. Two white men were arrested in May in the February shooting death of black jogger Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia. And in Louisville, Kentucky, police shot Breonna Taylor to death in her home in March.
Similar to Wiener, New York Sen. Mike Gianaris, a Democrat and deputy majority leader, announced on May 31 he’d be re-routing the money he’s received from police PACs and planned to reject those contributions made in the future.
Gianaris told his Twitter followers that amounted to at least $15,500.
FOX Business' Jackie DeAngelis and The Associated Press contributed to this report.