Georgia Sen. Kelly Loeffler attacked Democratic challenger Rev. Raphael Warnock’s calls for police reform on Tuesday, warning voters that her opponent’s policies would lead to more crime amid a spike in Atlanta’s homicide rate.
“Homicides in Atlanta have already surpassed last year’s total,” Loeffler wrote on Twitter. “@ReverendWarnock wants to defund police & he championed Atlanta’s dangerous policy ending cash bail — which freed violent criminals. He can’t be trusted to keep Georgians safe.”
The senator referenced data that showed Atlanta reported more murders through late November than it had in the entirely of 2019. The city has had 130 murders this year, up from 99 in 2019, FOX 5 Atlanta reported. The murder rate is expected to reach its highest level in nearly two decades.
Loeffler has positioned herself as a police advocate amid unprecedented scrutiny of law enforcement officers following the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died in Minneapolis police custody last summer. In June, the senator introduced a bill that would revoke federal funding for highway safety from state and local governments that seek to defund local police without demonstrating a clear budgetary need.
Loeffler has repeatedly accused Warnock of embracing a radical platform and supporting calls to defund the police. Warnock, who serves as senior pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, has said on several occasions that he opposes defunding the police.
Warnock’s campaign websites notes that he would work to “responsibly fund police departments while increasing accountability and ensuring our communities can support critical services outside of the criminal justice system” if he is elected to office. The reverend had called for an end to qualified immunity for police officers involved in civil lawsuits, as well as an end to cash bail for low-level crimes.
“When politicians have no vision, they resort to the politics of division. That’s what we’re seeing from Sen. @Kloeffler,” Warnock tweeted on Monday.
The outcome of Georgia’s two Senate runoff races will determine which party controls the upper chamber of Congress. The runoff vote is slated for Jan. 5.
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