ATLANTA, GA – As Democrats push to sway the runoff elections in Georgia, top law enforcement officials in the state say they have “serious concerns” about the want-to-be Democratic lawmakers.
Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock are both in the running for United States Senate in the January special elections.
While the pair have closely aligned as the days wind down, there is growing worry that they could push to defund police and detract from police officers’ ability to serve their communities.
The Washington Free Beacon reports that both have faced criticism for anti-police remarks.
In June, the media outlet reported that Ossoff said there is a need to hold “entire departments accountable.” He allegedly argued that police funding should be “on the line” if any officers in the department violate his suggested use of force rules.
Warnock made similar remarks.
In sermons that date back to 2015, Warnock, who is a reverend, purportedly accused police of behaving with a “gangster and thug” mentality. The Washington Free Beacon reports that he continued on to say that he was not surprised to see officers behave like “bullies.”
Now, Georgia Fraternal Order of Police secretary Steven Gaynor tells the media outlet that law enforcement officers have little reassurance that they would have the support of the Senate contenders, should they be elected to office.
Gaynor is quoted as saying:
“We really need law enforcement. We need them to be out there to protect our citizens, so we have a serious concern over the defunding push and the statements being made from both candidates.”
Georgia barely went blue in the November presidential election.
Since then, Democratic political candidates in the state have reportedly began to back away from the cries to defund police.
Party officials have warned that calls to revamp policing could alienate voters, during an election that has drawn heavy national interest and will determine the majority in the legislature.
As recently as Tuesday, Joe Biden was heading back to the Peach State to campaign for Democrats. He tweeted:
“I’m looking forward to being back in Georgia this afternoon to rally voters ahead of the Senate runoffs. See you soon, Atlanta!”
I’m looking forward to being back in Georgia this afternoon to rally voters ahead of the Senate runoffs. See you soon, Atlanta!
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) December 15, 2020
Not long after, he got back on social media to promote Ossoff and Warnock specifically, posting:
“With @ossoff and @ReverendWarnock in the Senate, the doors of promise and progress will open in Washington.”
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) December 16, 2020
While the party lines up behind its own, Gwinnett County Sheriff Butch Conway told the Washington Free Beacon during a Tuesday press conference:
“The safety of this entire country is at stake. All we’ve heard for months from the Democratic Party is ‘defund the police.’ I understand Joe Biden’s talking the other way now, not wanting to talk about defunding the police until after this election, but that doesn’t change anything.”
Conway also told the media outlet that Ossoff could make communities less safe by his refusal to enforce immigration laws at the local level. The remark follows a statement by Ossoff in June, when he appeared to endorse sanctuary cities.
He reportedly said that local police should not enforce federal immigration laws because it could harm the “bonds of trust between local law enforcement and local communities.”
Conway told the Washington Free Beacon that his department has worked with Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to identify more than 800 illegal immigrants housed in county jail during his tenure. He said:
“Many of those inmates had been arrested more than one time, some many times. The cost to process an inmate is high. It has saved millions of dollars for Gwinnett.”
Two other local county sheriffs also attended the Tuesday press conference.
Walton County Sheriff Joe Chapman reportedly accused Ossoff and Warnock of working to “change the way we live” and “make it harder” for police to protect people in Georgia.
Instead, local law enforcement leaders are throwing their support behind Ossoff and Warnock’s opponents.
The heated races are between U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) and Warnock, and between U.S. Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) and Ossoff.
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Here’s more from Law Enforcement today on the controversy that has surrounded the Georgia runoff elections:
Democratic Representative and “Squad” member to Muslim voters in Georgia: show your “power”
December 15, 2020
LANSING, MI – From more than one-thousand miles away, a Democratic representative in Michigan wants to tell Muslim voters in Georgia how to cast their ballots in the state’s runoff elections.
Over the weekend, Representative Rashida Tlaib reportedly claimed that, for Muslim voters, it is an opportunity from Allah to show their “power” during Georgia’s Senate runoff elections set for January.
Media outlet CNS News reports that Tlaib’s comments occurred during an online “vote-a-thon.”
— CAIR National (@CAIRNational) December 14, 2020
The event was co-hosted by the Georgia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Georgia Muslim Voter Project.
CAIR National promoted it on social media ahead of time, tweeting:
On Sunday, @GAMVP and @CAIR_GA hosted an online event on Muslim voter engagement, bringing together elected officials and religious leaders to talk about the importance of the Senate race.https://t.co/rORQC50xQq@MiddleEastEye @umaribnfarooq @EdAhmedMitchell #ElectoralCollegeDay
— CAIR National (@CAIRNational) December 14, 2020
According to CNS News, Tlaib said to those who attended:
“I hope that you realize just the opportunity here that Allah has given us to show the power of Muslims in Georgia. I want people to be like, oh my God, I didn’t even know Muslims are in Georgia. Exactly! Because we’re going to show them in droves of numbers.”
She allegedly continued on to say:
“I want to, mash’allah [what Allah has willed] be able to say, ‘Look at the voting in these precincts and guess what? It was the Muslim vote that delivered Georgia.’”
For weeks now, all eyes have been on Georgia voters as both Republicans and Democrats fight to win the two seats up for grabs that would give either a majority in the legislature.
However, Sunday’s “vote-a-thon” was specifically targeted at Muslim voters.
The state is home to more than 150,000 Muslim residents. According to the Association of Religious Data Archives, of Georgia’s Muslim population, 71,000 are reportedly registered to vote.
An article, written by Middle East Eye about the event, and retweeted by CAIR National, reports that CAIR-Georgia’s executive director, Abdullah Jaber, equated the political race with issues like Islamophobia, healthcare, police reform and systemic racism.
MEE quoted Jaber as saying:
“In this runoff, Georgia Muslim voters not only have the power to select two senators but to move our nation in the right direction. This is exactly why we are urging Georgia Muslim voters to come out in record-breaking numbers as they did in the general elections.”
Tlaib was not the only left-leaning female politician involved in the “vote-a-thon.” Her Capitol Hill colleague and close friend, Representative Ilhan Omar, also took part.
According to CNS News, the Democrat from Minnesota suggested that the Muslim population in Georgia would be “a big part of making the right decision.”
The media outlet quotes Omar as saying:
“I do hope that when the election is decided on January 5th, and people are able to analyze who came out and voted, we will hear that the Muslims in Georgia were a big part of making the right decision in this historic election.”
The runoff elections are set for January. The heated races are between U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) and Democratic candidate Reverend Raphael Warnock, and between U.S. Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) and Democratic contender Jon Ossoff.
Sunday’s “vote-a-thon” event and the purported attempt to influence Georgia’s voters has drawn some serious heat on social media in the days since.
National Review reporter Ryan Mills tweeted:
“Two members of congress and a national activist with a history of making anti-Semitic remarks and supporting anti-Israel policies are jumping in to help Georgia Dems get out the vote for @ReverendWarnock and @ossoff.”
Two members of congress and a national activist with a history of making anti-Semitic remarks and supporting anti-Israel policies are jumping in to help Georgia Dems get out the vote for @ReverendWarnock and @ossoff. @NROhttps://t.co/bOLqm6dtuY
— Ryan Mills (@RyanAMills77) December 15, 2020
Another Twitter user who goes by “LibertyBella9” posted:
“So, CAIR wants to try and sway the outcome of the Georgia runoff? I’m thinking a lot of good folks in Georgia are not going to like more anti-American interference.”
So, CAIR wants to try and sway the outcome of the Georgia runoff?
I’m thinking a lot of good folks in Georgia are not going to like more anti-American interference ?? pic.twitter.com/HI9Hnfzdsh
— FreeBird ?resistance (@LibertyBella9) December 14, 2020
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