Barr: More Funding Is Needed for Police, Not Less

U.S. Attorney General William Barr on Thursday pushed back against calls to defund the police in the wake of the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

A movement to dismantle police departments or reallocate large chunks of their budget to social services gained support after Floyd’s death. Barr, speaking at a news conference in Little Rock, said the country must “maintain the most professional and effective law enforcement that our people deserve and invest what is necessary to do that.”

Barr also responded to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling allowing the Manhattan district attorney to obtain President Donald Trump’s tax returns. The court rejected broad arguments by Trump’s lawyers and the Justice Department that the president is immune from investigation while he holds office or that a prosecutor must show a greater need than normal to obtain the records. But the justices kept a hold on Trump’s financial records that Congress has been seeking for more than a year.

Barr said he was “disappointed” in the ruling. “But as a practical matter,” he added, “the decision made very clear that the president just is not at the mercy of litigants and investigators, and that there are protections and defenses that can be raised.”

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